Expanding drug courts won’t help ease the opioid crisis

Most drug courts do not reduce imprisonment, do not save money or improve public safety, and ultimately fail to help people struggling with drug problems. Today’s drug courts are no more effective — but are considerably more costly — than voluntary treatment, and often leave their participants worse off for trying.

Most U.S. drug courts fail to provide treatment that meets basic standards of medicine and public health, as recently documented in a damning report by Physicians for Human Rights. These courts respond to the predictable relapses of drug-dependent individuals by kicking them out of treatment and locking them up in jail. Yet incarcerating people for relapse flies in the face of medical and public health principles, with blatant disregard for the many dangers to health and safety posed by jails. Because drug courts impose jail sanctions for drug relapse, their participants often end up serving more time behind bars than those whose cases are handled by conventional courts.

Original Article (Stat News):
Expanding drug courts won’t help ease the opioid crisis
Artwork Fair Use: Luis Argerich

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