In West Virginia, adult drug courts are special court programs. A drug court incorporates alcohol and drug treatment with the criminal justice process. The objective is to reduce substance abuse and recidivism.

The West Virginia Judiciary explains how drug courts operate and what the goals of drug courts are.

Components of drug court

If a defendant is eligible for drug court, the court will identify him or her early on for the program. Drug courts provide intense treatment options for those with drug and alcohol abuse problems.

Throughout the process, the defendant must undergo evaluations, drug testing and monitoring to ensure that he or she sticks to the treatment and rehabilitation provided. All drug tests are random and mandatory. The purpose of random drug testing is to discourage drug use at any time. Courts can use incentives or sanctions to alter a person’s behavior. Every drug court participant must have ongoing interaction with the judicial system.

Drug courts are most effective with support from communities and other drug courts. If there is local and community support, it is generally easier to have an effective drug court.

Goals of drug court

Research and evaluation show that drug courts are effective in reaching their goals. The objectives of drug courts include:

  • Crime reduction
  • Family restoration
  • Money savings
  • Reduced substance abuse

The criminal justice process is expensive. When drug cases overload the system, it is not only expensive but drug abuse fills jails with nonviolent offenders. Drug court relies on rehabilitation. It takes offenders and helps to shape them into rehabilitated members of society.