For too long, it was popular politic rhetoric that “they didn’t care how much it costs to lock up offenders.” Prisons had become a “sacred cow” of sorts. With the economic crash of 2007, this dialogue started changing. Last week NPR's Talk of the Nation had this lengthy segment on Ohio's plans to reduce recidivism. A bad economy is forcing states to learn that rehabilitative programming is not a “four letter word.”
Drug courts have become popular as an alternative sentencing model which focuses on treatment. Sunday’s 60 Minutes had a great story on how one Texas Court has extended this model to PTSD Court for Veterans who commit an offense. Individuals who commit this program avoid a criminal record. There are now 41 Veterans Courts operating in 27 states based on this. Click here for summary of the programs from the Veteran’s Administration.