Seattle Drug Courts: Model for Recidivism Reduction
King County's Drug Court provides an innovative model which stringent oversight and opportunities for treatment are given to addicts, in an attempt to help them break the cycle. According to an article in the New York Times, such programs reduce recidivism by 8-10 percent. Cities, unfortunately, are generally leery to front the costs, even though it leads to a significant cost reduction in the long term. Combine that with the shortage of judges who are suited to the task, and you have a problem with being able to expand the program.
King County, facing a budget shortfall, is reducing the capacity of drug court, evidently ignoring the long-term budget savings created by the system. Rather disheartening, no?