It doesn’t take much research to realize that the court systems are rather overwhelmed today. They often take care of a wide variety of criminal offenses on a daily basis, some of which may be quite severe. In an effort to offer alternative sentencing to a certain category of drug users, the drug court system was established in the 1980s.
When they were originally established, the drug courts were only there for first-time offenders but they are now sometimes taking care of repeat offender cases as well. It was thought that the court system was unable to deal with substance abusers effectively and the drug courts were established to help individuals, not by incarcerating them but by offering them the opportunity for rehabilitation.
The majority of those who go through drug court are going to be nonviolent offenders who are up on a drug charge. In most cases, the individual who goes to of these courts is also going to have pled guilty prior to the time that they do so. These courts are not about establishing the guilt or innocence of an individual who was charged with a drug crime. Rather, they are there to provide an alternative to incarceration, and they are often effective at doing so.
Most court cases occur in a courtroom, but that is not the same as what happens with drug court. If you are in such a court setting, you may have an attorney by your side but they are not going to be your advocate. Rather, the judge is going to deal directly with the defendant and he needs to answer the judge directly as well.
The true goal of having somebody go through this type of program is to offer them the ability for rehabilitation. It is usually required that they go through some type of a treatment program, and that may include education, counseling and perhaps even job-training to provide a life skill. The defendant may also need to continue to appear frequently before the judge and submit to regular drug testing.
There have been many positive outcomes associated with this type of program. Since the defendant is required to complete a treatment program, it is less likely for them to be convicted of a crime. It helps the defendant by providing them with an alternative to incarceration and it helps to keep the prison system from being overloaded unnecessarily.