Jennifer Knox: Kudos for drug courts

February 20, 2013 

Kudos for drug courts

I commend Gov. Pat McCrory on his request to our General Assembly to reinstate funding for Drug Treatment Courts. Studies show that Drug Treatment Courts not only save money but also reduce recidivism, save lives and help prevent drug-addicted babies.

North Carolina’s Drug Treatment Courts use evidence-based practices to provide services for high-risk, high-need offenders. These are not your average probationers, and they are not your casual marijuana smokers. They are people whose untreated drug addictions cost our state, our counties and our cities untold dollars each year in the form of incarcerations, both at the state and county level, hospitalizations and long-term care for babies born addicted to drugs.

However, nationwide, for every dollar invested in Drug Treatment Courts, taxpayers save as much as $3.36. The adage “sometimes you have to spend money to make money” certainly applies here, except that by re-funding our Drug Treatment Courts, we will be saving the taxpayers money. I hope that our legislators will grant McCrory’s request and refund North Carolina’s Drug Treatment Courts.

Jennifer Knox

District Court Judge, Wake County, Raleigh

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