Fluffy Recovery Court News Coverage Continues

They never do news stories about the people who flunk out of recovery court and re-offend. But here’s another news story about how awesome recovery courts are.

I don’t doubt that recovery courts help some people. What I do question is that the people who sing the praises of recovery courts are also often the people who get big state grants to run them. In turn, does that give these same people incentives to fluff the success of their programs? Does it give them an incentive to market recovery courts to the public, so to speak, like through news sound bites, so that the public will support these programs that bring them grant money?

I’m not the only one who thinks recovery courts are controversial. Here is one source that criticizes the drug court model for self-selecting individuals who are most likely to succeed. (Violent offenders need not apply.) Many drug courts exclude those with co-existing mental health concerns or prior unsuccessful treatment. The Open Minds wbsites reaches the conclusion that drug courts are not a wise allocation of limited government resources when diversionary programs and intensive probation would likely also be what many would-be drug court participants need.

Michigan law allows a person who is in a sobriety court program to get a restricted driver’s license. The restricted driver’s license may not be available to a person who is not in sobriety court. So are sobriety courts an engine for those who can afford it to get a driver’s license?

Proponents often say that drug courts work because they save what would be the cost to incarcerate the individuals. However, most people rarely get the max. Many people get work release that requires payment of room and board for the privilege of staying at the jail.

What do you think about drug courts?

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