J.F. at DiA supports drug courts, i.e. courts that "take arrested addicts and put them in intensive, supervised treatment rather than prison". Nevertheless a new report gives him pause:
[T]he [Justice Policy Institute] report [pdf] points out some real problems with drug courts, the most troubling of which is that they have been shown (in an admittedly small sample) to encourage arrests. Community-based treatment (that is, free treatment for poor addicts that does not involve being arrested) is hard to find; cops arrest addicts to get them the treatment they need, and they end up entangled in the criminal-justice system, often with a felony conviction, a record of which stays with them even when the charge has been formally expunged.
(Photo: Adult drug court Magistrate Gordon M. Smith listens to a statement from Heather Lanphear, of Charlestown, R.I., front, as Lanphear holds her one-year-old daughter Samantha during court proceedings, in Providence, Rhode Island. By Steven Senne/AP)
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.