Utah drug courts have rehabilitated thousands of hard-core users, dramatically reducing their recidivism compared with those stuck behind bars.
According to the Utah State Court records, every year 22,000 felonies are committed in Utah. It's estimated 75 percent of those are drug related. Drug Court offers a second chance to addicts who are in desperate need of one.
US Attorney General Eric H. Holder, speaking in Boston yesterday at the nation’s largest conference on drugs and crime, said drug courts play a key role in rehabilitating addicts and reducing crime and should be available to more people, especially juveniles.
Like drug court or mental health court, veterans court requires defendants to follow a strict program and uses peer mentors to help them stay the course.Judge Richard Hopper says if they do, they get the benefits and services they need and the chance to skip jail time
At the state level, special courts to deal with the problems of veterans are being formed across the nation, modeled on the special courts to deal with drug and mental health issues. Twenty-one veterans courts are in operation, said West Huddleston, the chief executive officer of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
Marks had just started a special court designed to give veterans who commit nonviolent crimes a second chance. "We're working with someone who has a special quality and that that special quality is that he or she made a commitment to their country, to giving their life," she told Martin.
Over the past 20 years drug courts have cut crime rates and proved far cheaper than prison. They are also expected to be part of a drug strategy report the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is due to issue in February.
Drug courts seem to be that vanishingly rare thing in Washington: an issue with near consensus.