Many of New York’s drug offenders commit crimes due to addiction, and not because they are inherently prone to criminal behavior. If you are among them, you may not necessarily have to serve time. Increasingly, the criminal justice system offers participation in a closely supervised and highly regulated drug court program to drug addicts charged with crimes in New York. This is not only a means of avoiding jail time, but also of kicking the addiction itself.

Whether you may enter a drug court program depends on numerous factors, among them the details of your alleged activity and whether you have a prior conviction. Should you be offered entry, know that statistics show that they offer tremendous benefits not only to you, but the surrounding community, too. They do so by:

Forcing compliance

If you have tried to kick your addiction without help, you may be well aware of just how hard it is to find success through this method. Drug courts increase your chances of beating your addiction because they involve regular drug testing in combination with treatment. The alternative, which is typically imprisonment, is enough to make many addicts stay the course.

Saving communities money

It is also cheaper for a community to place you in a drug court program than it is to house you in a traditional prison setting. According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, such programs save anywhere from $3,000 to $13,000 for every participant who successfully completes them.

Minimizing crime

Drug courts have proven positive effects on reducing your chances of reoffending. About three-quarters of those who effectively complete this type of program have not been rearrested two years later. Drug courts also have lasting effects, and studies show they reduce future criminal activity considerably when compared with more traditional offender penalties.

Drug courts are not yet available in all areas. If you are a drug offender and wondering whether this might be an option for you, consider contacting a lawyer.