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Drug diversion programs: alternatives to prison

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2021 | Collaborative Court

Were you arrested for a nonviolent drug crime in California? If convicted, you could face jail time and fines. However, you might have an alternative available. A deferred entry program can minimize the adverse effects of the justice system. You may get charges substantially reduced. If you face felony charges, a drug diversion program might reduce them to appropriate misdemeanors.

According to American Addiction Centers, a California substance abuse statute offers certain nonviolent offenders an alternative to jail.

Benefits of drug diversion programs

Drug diversion programs are often cost-effective, compassionate alternatives to incarceration. These programs may prevent you from moving further into the prison system. The requirements of the program also ensure you receive help for your addiction.

The legislation applies to the following three categories of offenders:

  • People currently on probation for illicit drug use or drug possession
  • People who violate their parole agreement by committing a nonviolent crime
  • People who face a first offense of possessing or using drugs but who are not accused of manufacturing, selling or distributing an illicit substance

First and second-time offenders may qualify for these programs that last for up to a year. Once complete, you receive supervised care for substance abuse while on probation.

Conditions of drug diversion programs

The specifics of your treatment depend on various factors, including where you live and the specifics of your case. Regular meetings with a case manager and court appearances are among the most common requirements of the program. You may also undergo mandatory drug screening and family or group therapy. The judge might determine that you can benefit from vocational counseling and literacy training.

A deferred entry program focuses more on rehabilitation than punishment. Understanding the program conditions and eligible drug crimes is essential. It can help you receive the treatment you need and move forward with your life.


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