Alternative Sentencing: Missouri's Drug Court Program
The past few years have seen considerable debate about our nation's drug crime policies and the way we penalize individuals convicted of drug offenses. As new laws and policies are making it clear, there is now a focus on shifting from strict drug crime laws and sentencing guidelines to an approach that focuses on rehabilitating drug offenders and relieving pressure on our overburdened jails and prisons.
As part of this shift, many states throughout the country have adopted alternative sentencing options. Missouri's drug court program, for instance, is an example of alternative sentencing in which individuals convicted of a drug crime are offered substance abuse treatment, case management, drug testing, and supervision and monitoring in lieu of traditional jail or prison sentences.
The statistics supporting the use of drug courts are reassuring and include:
- Drug courts are a proven and cost-efficient method for diverting non-violent, low-level offenders from incarceration.
- Drug courts have been found to lower recidivism – the term used to describe a convicted individual's return to jail or prison.
- Drug courts allow non-violent offenders to remain in the community, support their families, and pay taxes.
During a time in which drug use and drug crimes have steadily increased, new drug crime policies have proven beneficial for both offenders and our criminal justice system. Missouri's drug court program is a great alternative to the traditional route of either being placed on probation or being incarcerated, and our legal team at The Hammer Law Firm, LLC always explores this option on behalf of our clients.
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Although the drug court program requires a firm commitment to "get clean" and abide by the rules of the program, in most cases, if a client successfully completes the program, his or her case will be completely dismissed from their record. It is a great way for a client facing a drug charge to receive help, wipe their slate clean, and completely start over with their lives in a more positive direction!
Our St. Louis criminal defense attorneys are very familiar with Missouri's drug court programs and work diligently with clients who could benefit from the program. If you would like more information about your charges, available options, and how our legal team can help, contact us for a FREE consultation. You can also learn more about Missouri drug courts here.