New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor, has unveiled a new plan to expand the state’s Drug Court program and to allow judges to order non-violent addicts to participate in mandatory drug treatment.
The new plan should save the state millions of dollars. New Jersey currently spends $49,000 per inmate per year, one of the highest costs in the country, but rehab for drug offenders—which is much less costly than incarceration—could cut costs dramatically. The new drug courts are also projected to deliver better outcomes. According to the Governor’s Office, the rate at which drug court graduates are re-arrested for a new indictable offense is 16 percent—compared to a 54 percent recidivism rate among offenders released from prison.