By Jefferey Buckley
When a person with a drug addiction problem is arrested for a drug- or alcohol-related offense, they may have access to a rehabilitation program as an alternative to jail time. Examples of such crimes include drunk driving and drug possession. After evaluating the case, the judge can suggest treatment for the offender instead of sending them to jail.
However, not every offender qualifies for this sentencing. In most cases, the court considers first-time offenders. That’s because these are less likely to be involved in other crimes in the future. Additionally, the court sees alcoholism and drug addiction as a disease for which the offender doesn’t have control.
Why drug criminals are mandated to undergo rehabilitation
Offenders with good standing in their communities may qualify for particular rehab instead of jail. Basically, the court hopes that when the offender undergoes treatment, they will sober up. These measurements will reduce the possibility of committing the same crime.
Ideally, the involved jury believes that it’s better to have such offenders out of jail or prison. Therefore, the judge sentences them to undergo long-term rehabilitation. Most non-violent and peaceful convicts and individuals with minor convictions are eligible for this sentence.
Benefits of Court Ordered Treatment
- This sentencing is beneficial in the following ways:
- Treatment can cost less than imprisonment.
- Treatment for alcoholism or drug addiction can be more cost-effective than incarceration.
- Treatment can minimize substance abuse as well as recidivism and build communities.
- Mandatory treatment can be effective than cycling offenders in and out of jail.
The Justice Research and Statistics Association reports the following positive results for drug rehab versus jail time:
- Re-arrest of 57% of individuals undergoing rehabilitation within 12 months.
- Conviction of 42% of individuals undergoing drug rehab in comparison to 65% of those without rehabilitation.
- New jail sentences for 30% of individuals that had undergone drug rehab within 12 months compared to 51% of those who skipped drug rehabilitation.
Court ordered drug treatment becomes a good measurement for offenders when the involved individual is committed to getting sober and clean. Such a person is ready to undergo rehabilitation and have a conviction in their record. The crime can be removed from the record of the offender after completing the mandated rehab successfully. However, research shows that it might be ineffective and in violation of human rights.