Drug Court Shows Success In Helping People

SPOKANE — A new study about solving overcrowding in Spokane’s jail urges county officials to expand the size of their drug court operations, which has shown success in keeping people from re-offending.

The program saves taxpayers money by rehabilitating offenders instead of locking them up. One person who has seen success in the program firsthand is new Drug Court graduate Carla. After a year of weekly drug tests and hundreds of hours of treatment and counseling Carla is graduating from Drug Court.

“It is a lot of hard work, but it really pays off and one thing is we don’t have to do this, we get to do this and it really changes your life,” Carla said.

For her addiction to pain killers Carla could have been sentenced to a year in the county jail. but that would have cost taxpayers $50,000. Instead her 12-month enrollment in drug court cost $8,500.

“Drug court graduates are 30 percent less likely to re-offend and go back into that confinement system,” Spokane Superior Court Judge Linda Tompkins said.

Aside from saving money drug court also helps saves lives and even generations.

Drug court participants support each other by sharing their victories and defeats but new graduate Carla is taking that concept one step further. Now that’s she graduated she’s heading off to college where she’s now studying to be a substance abuse counselor.