North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory introduced his first budget proposal this week and within the measure calls on state legislators to restore seven million of dollars in funding for drug courts. The funding for drug courts was cut two years ago and resources for treatment were slashed last year. Drug courts are designed to help repeat offenders of drug laws get treatment instead of going to jail.
Drug courts try to provide people battling substance abuse issues with counseling, work programs and support. The governor wants to allocate $3.7 million over the 2013-14 fiscal year, and $3.3 million the following
“What makes it especially attractive, I think from a government perspective is that it is proven to be cost effective. It saves money.” said Judge Stan Carmical, who sits on a drug court in Robeson County. Proponents say drug courts serve as a proactive approach to keeping people out of prison and helping to break a cycle of addiction
“The success can be measured by the effectiveness of recovery by demonstrating that we keep people out of court in the future, we keep families together at a higher rate,” added Carmical.
Opponents of drug courts contend only about a third of the counties in the state have them, and they’re a greater benefit to urban areas.