OK Says Drug Courts Save Money, Cut Recidivism


Over the last three years, at least 22 states have developed initiatives to slow the growth of inmate populations, the most common of which are programs that divert drug offenders into treatment rather than prison cells, says a study by the Sentencing Project in Washington, D.C., reported by the Associated Press. In Oklahoma, although the prison population continues to climb, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services touts drug courts as a money-saving alternative.

It costs the state about $5,000 annually for a drug court participant versus $21,000 to keep an offender locked up in prison. The recidivism rate for drug court graduates also appears to compare favorably, with a 23.5 percent re-arrest rate, compared to 38.2 percent for standard probation and 54.3 percent for released inmates.

Link: http://www.twincities.com/national/ci_5780523

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