The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

May 4, 2013

Strong communities

Rahall says drug courts save taxpayers money

For every $1 invested in drug courts, the American taxpayer realizes a savings of $3.36, Rep. Nick Rahall told a graduating class Friday of one in Logan County.

Non-violent drug offenders may exercise the option of mandatory drug testing and treatment as an alternative to going to jail, the 3rd District congressman noted.

“Successful drug court programs can strengthen our communities by reducing incarceration and recidivism and providing substance abuse treatment to non-violent offenders who need and can benefit from it most,” Rahall, D-W.Va., said.

“We need a multi-prong strategy in waging a successful battle against the epidemic of drug abuse and clearly the continued funding of drug courts must be a key component of that strategy.”

Rahall said three-fourths of drug court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program, and family reunification rates are 50 percent higher for family court participants.

“What you have accomplished today builds on our tomorrows,” Rahall told the Logan participants.

Rahall said all forces within the nation must pull together to combat the drug scourge.

“With the hard work, dedication, and efforts of our law enforcement and judiciary — who are the bedrock that keeps our communities safe and strong — to the doctors, nurses, teachers, preachers and community workers, who are working endless hours, there is hope and opportunity to break the devastating cycle of drug abuse, addiction, and crime that is affecting too many of our communities,” he added.

 

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