Do you face drug charges and fear time in a New York prison? While jail time may be the norm in Brooklyn, it is not the only legal route. In fact, it is not even the most effective one. Going to drug court is a much better option for you in the long run because it addresses the root of your problem and gives you a second chance at turning your life around with fewer consequences.

Why jail time is ineffective

Going to prison does not solve your underlying issue: physical and financial dependence on drugs. You can get drugs in jail, maintain your addiction and make new connections with other offenders. If you do not have access to drugs, you have to face withdrawal symptoms without the same type of assistance you would receive through a treatment program. Although some prisons offer treatment, the majority of these programs do not involve a trained professional. They also do not continue after release, so you have complete treatment on your own. This can be hard to do without a support network.

Furthermore, your conviction, sentencing and prison record can ruin your life. You most likely will have difficulty finding work, which only compounds the problem. The resulting depression, stress and poverty encourages you to turn to drug use and distribution again. It becomes an endless cycle in which no one wins.

How drug court makes a difference

Drug court takes a different approach. It takes the perspective that a drug addict is someone who is sick and has limited choices, not evil. The system is more respectful and cooperative to find the best treatment plan for you and support you through it. According to the National Institute of Justice, studies have shown that the benefits of drug courts include the following:

  • Decreased rate of recidivism (re-arrest)
  • Lower cost by an average of $1,392 per participant
  • Average of $6,744 in public savings per participant

These benefits are the result of receiving proper treatment, which increases your chances of successfully turning your life around and maintaining long-term sobriety.

What else you need to know

Drug court is an intensive method that takes commitment, but it is worth pursuing because it works. However, it is not suitable for all drug offenders. A criminal defense attorney with experience in drug char ges can help you determine if drug court is the right course of action for your circumstances. Call a Brooklyn lawyer to see if you qualify.