It’s easy to become cynical in today’s social and political climate, so it is sometimes good to be reminded that even in the midst of a seemingly endless stream of bad news, there are still good things that arise from surprising places. In Kentucky, the positive impact that its drug court programs are able to have on drug court program graduates and relevant budget areas is an example of a surprising cause for recognition. Graduates of the Kentucky’s drug court programs not only save the state money in the long run, they also have lower rates of recidivism overall.
The Kentucky drug court is an excellent example of a good social investment with excellent personal and fiscal returns. According to recent figures, for every dollar spent though its programs on participants who complete the programs, the state saves an average of $2.72 for each dollar the state would have incurred by incarcerating those individuals — almost a three times the return on investment. Likewise, each dollar that is invested in drug court costs returns an average of $5.58 in increased child support payments and reduced dependence on public assistance and health services. Those who graduate drug court even generally experience an increase in their earning potential.
Kentucky drug court programs also experience significantly lower rates of recidivism. Compared to offenders who participate in traditional probation programs, those who graduate through the drug court become less likely to incur a new drug charge, are far less likely to violate their probation restrictions to the point of receiving new charges or incarceration and incur many fewer additional misdemeanor and felony charges overall.
It is encouraging to see good news from time to time, and the Kentucky drug court is a shining example of just that. While not perfect, it offers alternatives to those attempting to turn their lives around from involvement in drug use and drug trafficking, and the results speak of themselves. Anyone who is facing drug charges may find the guidance of experienced legal counsel may help them navigate this tricky process and successfully get on the path to a new, clean way of living.
Source: Kentucky Drug Court, “Kentucky Drug Court: Saving Costs, Saving Lives,” accessed June 24, 2016