New Jersey has had Drug Courts since 1996, when it established pilot programs in the Camden and Essex Superior Courts. By 1999, the program was extended to an additional three counties before becoming a state wide project in 2001. New Jersey’s drug courts are a collaborative venture between courts, prosecutors, law enforcement and treatment providers.
Drug court programs offer a number of advantages over trying drug offenders in the traditional court system:
- They aim to treat the person’s addiction as well as their crime, focusing on recovery in order to avoid the cycle of reoffending
- Drug court programs are cheaper than prison sentences
- Successful graduates of drug programs are eligible to obtain vocational training
Drug court is not an easy option ― but it works
Only non-violent drug related cases can be heard in drug court. Although it is an alternative to a more formal court process with traditional sentencing, drug court should not be seen as an easy ride for those who are eligible for the program. Whether drug court will work for you depends on a wide range of factors, one of which is how badly you want to kick your drug habit and change your life’s direction.
Graduates of the course seem happy to extol its virtues, with mostly positive testimonials displayed on the New Jersey Judiciary website. Some alumnae state that it was tough but their life has improved as a result of the course. Nearly 30% of the graduates of New Jersey’s drug court have advanced their education or vocational skills while in the program. Some graduates have even gone on to become mentors for other participants.
If you have been charged with a non-violent drug-related crime and want to know if the drug court system might benefit you, make an appointment with New Jersey law firm Hoffman DiMuzio. Having served the New Jersey community for more than 35 years, our criminal defense attorneys are experienced in all aspects of the system.
Publication approved by Joseph J. Hoffman, III, Esq., Associate of Hoffman DiMuzio