A provision in New Jersey's drug court laws allows violators to be incarcerated for a short period of time, instead of having their special probation permanently revoked. However, this provision is not being used as often as it could. Now, New Jersey Senator Raymond J. Lesniak is calling on drug court judges to exercise this little used option to give these offenders a chance to rehabilitate themselves.
The senator has sent a letter to the drug court judges, asking them to exercise this option more often. In his letter addressed to the Administrative Office of the Courts, the senator makes a plea for the use of the incarceration option over revocation, to ensure that more offenders get a chance at turning their lives around again. In his letter, the senator says:
“If a term in jail is needed to turn an addict's life around, we need to do it. Drug courts must use every available tool in their arsenal to help addicts succeed; we cannot afford to ignore any section of the drug court law.”
According to the senator, the drug court program was devised to offer nonviolent offenders a chance at turning their lives around, without long-term incarceration. However, treating a drug addict isn't as simple as a 12-point program, and those who falter must be given another chance by offering them another term of incarceration, instead of revocation. This will allow these offenders to continue to make progress toward a drug-free life.
The Administrative Office of the Courts has already replied to the senator's letter, saying that these suggestions will be taken up by a panel of presiding judges.