Not all drug crimes are committed with nefarious intent or as mere money-grabs. Oftentimes addiction drives a person to commit a drug crime.
If so, is it better to simply lock away the user and throw away the key? Or should a person who is addicted to drugs and subsequently commits a drug crime be given the chance of rehabilitation?
Drug courts in Illinois
Illinois recognizes that many people who commit drug crimes need help more than they need to be punished. For this reason, there are drug court programs that some people might qualify for, as an alternative to traditional criminal sentences.
The goal of drug court programs are to help people recover from their addiction so they can be productive members of their community.
The drug court program might be an option for those who have committed a non-violent drug crime. Being ordered to participate in the drug court program is an alternative to serving a prison sentence.
Phases of the drug court program
There are four phases to the drug court program. You cannot move on to the next phase until you have completed the one before it. The four phases are:

Acceptance that you are an addict and need help
Becoming stable
Maintaining your sobriety
Transitioning out of the program

People in the drug court program are treated for substance use. They might have to attend support groups and counseling. They might have to submit to frequent and periodic drug and alcohol testing.
People in the drug court program will be assigned a probation officer who they must report to periodically. They also might have to make periodic court appearances.
Completing the program
Once you have completed the drug court program, your probation will be terminated. Your case will be dismissed and sealed. This means your case will not appear on criminal background checks performed by the public. This is very beneficial, as it can make it easier for you to get a job, obtain housing or go back to school as you move forward into your new life.
Many people commit drug crimes out of desperation. They are caught in the trap of addiction and need help getting free. Drug court programs may help these people more than simply convicting and imprisoning them would.The post Some drug offenders need help, not a prison sentence first appeared on W. Scott Hanken, Attorney at Law.