While some people in New Jersey think of people involved in drug crimes as voluntarily putting themselves in criminal situations, many of them fail to realize that these people are often highly addicted to drugs. For many people charged with drug crimes, they would much rather be clean and sober, out of trouble, and working than dependent on drugs and going in and out of jail. And, since jail often does little to prevent drug users from relapsing when they get out, it is important to have alternative sentancing programs for people charged with drug crimes.
The Drug Court program is one option for people in New Jersey. Not everyone who is charged with drug crimes will be accepted into the program, but if they are, they will enter a drug treatment program and will be on probation. They won’t, however, go to prison.
Unfortunately for a 27-year-old man from Dover, he was denied access to the Drug Court program. The young father seemed heartbroken when he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, saying that he disappointed his family and that drugs “took [him] over and ripped [him] apart.” Instead of getting better, kicking his habit and being able to remain active in his daughter’s life, he will be sent to prison for at least five years before being eligible for parole.
The man pled guilty to first-degree operating a cocaine production facility in his house. It appears that his plea was part of a deal that got him his 10-year prison sentence. It is also unknown as to why he was denied access to the Drug Court program.
Source: The Ledger, “Man gets 10 years in state prison for operating cocaine ‘lab’ in his Dover home,” Ben Horowitz, March 21, 2014