Could drug courts be a solution to drug abuse? - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Could drug courts be a solution to drug abuse?

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Charleston Mayor Danny Jones wrote a letter to WOWK relating his own family's battle with drug abuse.
 
In it, he writes, "It may surprise many to know that I was relieved when I found out Zac was arrested, because I know that the only things that might save his life are isolation and yes, incarceration."
 
If you know someone who could be headed down the same dangerous path, you may often wander, what can be done before reaching this point.
 
One lifeline 13 News found that for family or friends that are concerned about a loved one's drug use was drug court.  
 
Statistics show that not only are they extremely effective, but they also save tax payer dollars.
 
According to officials with the Putnam County Drug Court, of the adults that participate in the Putnam County Drug Court program, more than 94 percent do not return jail.
 
Of Juveniles, only about 14 percent are re-incarcerated, as opposed to the 50 percent who do not take part in the program.
 
Lora Maynard directs the Juvenile Drug court in Putnam County.  She says she's seen firsthand how effective drug court is in saving lives, especially youths.
 
Maynard shared the story of a 16-year-old girl that found out that she was pregnant shortly after enrolling in the Putnam County Juvenile Drug Court.  She says the young girl was able to get and stay clean and as a result, "a child [was] brought into the world drug-free and most likely would not have been if her mother had not been referred to the juvenile drug court program," Maynard said.

 

 

As far as cost, Judge Stowers, who resides over the Putnam County Drug Court, said that the program has saved the state of West Virginia nearly $2 million on inpatient drug treatment costs.  He said juvenile drug court costs about $5,000 per participant as opposed to $106,800 that it would cost for a juvenile to spend a year incarcerated.