Like many other states, Illinois has a drug court program. This is a legal system specifically set up for those who are accused of drug offenses. If you are facing these charges, or if you end up facing them in the future, it’s important to know how this works and why it might be useful.
First and foremost, it is also wise to point out that the drug court treatment program is usually just available to those who are labeled as non-violent offenders. For instance, this could be someone who simply possessed enough of an illegal substance that it became a felony. But there are no gun charges or any other aggravating factors. Then they may be eligible for the drug court, although not everyone is.
Drug dependency issues
The goal of the drug court is simply to recognize that drug dependency is often a real reason why people commit drug crimes. The person who has been arrested probably did not want to commit a crime and was largely out of control of their own actions. Addiction is a very powerful thing, and it can absolutely take over and cause people to do things that they regret or would not have done otherwise.
As a result, sending someone who is addicted to jail isn’t actually going to solve the problem or prevent them from reoffending in the future. Sending them to a drug treatment program may actually break that addiction and accomplish these goals.
How does it work?
Someone who is in the drug treatment court has to adhere to a highly structured program. This starts with them being on probation, and they have to meet with the authorities on a set schedule or risk being removed from the program. They also have a substance-abuse treatment program that they have to attend, along with drug testing. As long as they pass the tests, attend the support meetings and complete the program, then they may be allowed to exit that program without a criminal record or any time served behind bars.
Those who are interested in this process need to be well aware of how it works, who qualifies and what legal options they have.