Illinois County Offers Drug Court and Treatment for Addicts

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Chicago drug crimes attorney, As officials across the state of Illinois look for ways to reduce the staggering state prison population, one Illinois county may have found a solution. In Will County, offenders arrested on substance abuse charges are provided help and rehabilitation instead of incarceration. Keeping individuals in prison is expensive, with overall costs reaching nearly $40,000 per Illinois inmate, and many offenders are likely to return to prison after being released. In Will County, however, drug offenders are given the chance to access the help they need to fight their addictions through drug court, allowing them to move forward with their lives. Should other Illinois counties follow suit?

A Solution to Costly Incarceration

According to a report from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, 13,000 of the state’s inmates were in need of substance abuse treatment during fiscal year 2014. Only half of those inmates received help, however, meaning many were released and continued to struggle with drug addiction, often leading to a second arrest and further prison time. In fact, 45 percent of Illinois offenders return to prison within three years of their initial release. Constant incarceration destroys lives, and is expensive for the state and tax payers.

Less than 10 percent of drug offenders in Will County return to prison, thanks to the county’s drug court program that helps offenders recover from their addiction, and at a fraction of the cost. Women and men convicted of a drug related crime in Will County are eligible for the drug court program, where over the course of 18 months they receive the help, support, and treatment they need instead of a felony and prison time. Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow says it is important to provide help to individuals arrested due to charges related to their addiction. “We found a tool that works and we are using it aggressively. Because of the heroin problem the way it is, it is critical that these individuals get into drug court not just to avoid prison, not just to avoid a felony conviction, but to stay alive.”

Compared to the nearly $40,000 cost per inmate incarcerated in Illinois, Will County’s drug court only costs $3,000 per participant. Without a felony on their record, and with help to recover from addiction, offenders are given the chance to start a new job, and get their life back on track.

A Kinder Future for Drug Offenders

Will County officials say drug court is a viable option to help reduce the state’s prison population, and also provide some compassion for substance abuse offenders who often need help. Glasgow says continuing down the same path of incarcerating drug offenders is no longer viable, and that the traditional method of handling drug offenders is “going to bankrupt us.” In Illinois, there are 60 drug courts, and advocates of rehabilitation programs for drug offenders are calling for state officials to invest in these programs statewide. Through drug courts, Illinois citizens struggling are able to combat their addiction and move forward, saving thousands of taxpayer dollars.

An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

While drug courts may not be an option for every offender statewide, there is help available to those facing drug related charged. Do not let a drug charge put your future in jeopardy. Contact an experienced Chicago defense attorney. Attorney Hal M. Garfinkel and his team have years of experience successfully defending clients from drug charges, and are available to assist you today. Call 312-270-0999 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your options.

Source:

http://watchdog.org/260526/will-county-drug-court-breaking-cycle-of-crime/

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