Many people imprisoned in Arkansas are there because they have substance dependencies that made them act out in a way they otherwise would not. For this reason, and to help reduce overcrowding in Arkansas jails and prisons, the state operates an Adult Drug Court program. The program gives some qualifying drug offenders a possible alternative to going to jail or prison.
Per the Arkansas Supreme Court, the state’s Adult Drug Court is a voluntary, multistep program that takes between about 14 and 18 months to complete.
How Adult Drug Court works
Adult Drug Court relies on evidence-based treatment methods to help drug offenders overcome their substance dependencies. Participation in drug court includes taking unannounced drug tests. It also involves making regular appearances before court officials or case managers and undergoing intensive substance abuse treatment. Substance abuse treatment obligations might include both personal and group counseling sessions.
How Adult Drug Court reduces recidivism
Many communities operate drug court programs because they are effective at reducing recidivism, or the number of people who re-offend. Often, substance addiction is the root cause of criminal behavior. So, the theory behind drug court is that helping drug offenders overcome their dependencies also makes them less likely to re-offend. While drug court offers benefits for individuals with substance dependencies, it offers other benefits, too. For example, it helps reduce criminal activity in communities and improves family reunification rates.
Individuals looking to enroll in Arkansas’ Adult Drug Court program must meet certain eligibility terms. Individuals charged with certain types of drug offenses, such as serious or violent felony offenses, are typically not eligible for participation in drug court.