Drug Courts in Rural Communities

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Texas Probation Institute for Leadership Excellence

Criminal Courts in rural communities in Texas seem to provide little to no assistance for the real problems drug offenders are faced with. Many are charged and incarcerated, while the disease itself goes unaddressed. There is a desperate need for provision. It is apparent that the system currently set in place is failing these individuals. The relevancy has much to do with the community. If offenders can get the proper help that they need, the community will undergo a substantial change for the better. The adults that indulge in substance abuse will begin to be better examples for the impressionable youth in the respective counties. Environments and lifestyles within families stricken by drug abuse will heal and prosper. (THESIS) Although implementing a drug court in a rural community means extending the counties budget, resources, and time, it is a necessity to enforce this system in rural communities because misdemeanor and felony narcotic related offenses have consumed the county’s court dockets for years now when other violent transgressions should be a top priority, many offenders get put into a system without their drug dependency issues being addressed appropriately, and the repercussions of non-violent charges from a criminal court case have long term consequences on an individual for the rest of their life. This proposition can be achieved in a multitude of ways. I suggest appointing a team of acclaimed professionals that acknowledge and study addiction as a disease, drug patches or frequent ua's, NA/AA meetings, involvement of the offender’s family or support system to prompt change as a group, utilize the materials we do have and provide the current probation officers curriculum to better understand substance abuse. Through this and drug courts, rural communities will begin to see a reduction in the recidivism rate and new offenses. It can be concluded that change is necessary, and support can be adequately provided in the areas that are needed (funds, resources, time).

Drug Courts, Rural Communities, Criminal Courts, drug offenders, substance abuse, narcotic related offenses, drug dependency, drug patches, NA/AA meetings, support system, recidivism