CJAB Hears From Expert On Drug Treatment Courts

From Potter County Today

drflaherty2A nationally respected addictions counselor, clinical psychologist and researcher was featured speaker for last week’s Potter County Criminal Justice Advisory Board meeting. He was invited to shed light on numerous topics as local officials investigate the possibility of establishing a separate court system to handle criminal offenses committed by alcoholics and other drug addicts.


Dr. Michael Flaherty maintained that the strategy will, in the long term, reduce the number of people entering the criminal justice system. Criminals who receive treatment for addictive disorders and commit themselves to recovery are much less likely to commit additional crimes, he said. Flaherty acknowledged that the up-front economic investment would not yield an immediate return. Added expenses could include staffing in probation, social services and court administration, as well as treatment specialists. Churches, community organizations and the “recovery community,” including alcoholics and drug addicts affiliated with organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, could help support those in recovery, he pointed out.


Dr. Flaherty emphasized that the key to successful implementation of a drug treatment court is a “team approach” that includes everyone from law enforcement and prosecution to drug and alcohol service administrators. He said individuals who are accepted into a drug treatment court must be aware that there are consequences of non-compliance with recovery programs and other requirements.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.

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