Skip to Main ContentAn Honest Chance: Perspectives on Drug Courts

Should drug courts accept people with prior criminal convictions into treatment?

Las Vegas and Portland

  • I mean, I have been using drugs all my life and Iím 48 now, so of course Iíve gotten a criminal record.

  • Yeah, because everybody needs a chance, everybody needs a chance. I donít care who they are or what they done did, if they want a chance to get their selves clean and straight . . . then they deserve it.

  • I think that is good because, you know, they should base everybody on an individual basis, not just because you got a criminal record and I don’t. You know, what makes me better than you? I just only got caught one time.

  • I think that anybody that wants to do treatment should be able to do it. I think that even the worst of the worst deserve a chance.

  • Well, I definitely believe that everybody should be in the program and of course you learn from the ones that have been through a lot more than you have. Everybody ought to be admitted to the program whether they are first-time offenders or whether they have been arrested on felonies. . . .

  • But if it’s somebody that is basically within reason, everybody deserves a shot. I’m no different than anybody else because I went out and did a criminal act before. . . .

  • I’m also 48 years old and I’ve been using drugs all my life too. And the difference is that instead of you paying tax money to house me in a jail house right now, I’m paying tax money out of a paycheck. That’s different and a lot better too.

  • That’s what I’m saying, I only got caught one time and that makes me better than you because you wasn’t as slick and got caught more?

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An Honest Chance: Perspectives on Drug Courts April 2002