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Can you benefit from a Nevada Specialty Court?

No one is born a criminal, and neither does committing a crime automatically make a person bad. So many factors are at play that lead to illegal behavior. For example, a history of childhood abuse, an addiction to painkillers after an injury or a mental illness can cause a good person to make a wrong choice. Yet, often the judicial system can be harsher than is fair on these types of offenders.

Nevada recognizes that such offenders will not benefit from prison time. The better solution is to address the underlying problem to help people escape or manage negative life circumstances and prevent further criminal activity. The state tries to achieve this goal through Specialty Courts.

What is Specialty Court?

Specialty Court is a court that offers treatment programs in an effort to stop repeat offenses due to substance abuse and/or mental health issues, including PTSD and other trauma from military duty. The state works with various services and agencies to create the most effective programs tailored to different needs, such as drug addiction, DUI and co-occurring disorders. Courts exist specifically for juveniles, families and veterans, as well, with a total of 42 programs across Nevada.

How does Specialty Court work?

Specialty Court is only open to nonviolent offenders. The programs are very structured and demanding, with requirements for testing of substance use, making court appearances and enrolling in treatment. However, the courts are also compassionate and supportive to encourage participants to finish the programs. This balance helps participants change their lifestyles for the better and successfully stay in recovery for the long term. It also allows them to avoid the many consequences of incarceration, such as immediate loss of employment.

The desired result upon completion of the programs is graduates who are responsible and productive and communities that are healthier and happier. In Reno, success rates have been high and have also led to lowered costs for the community, reports local news.

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