Provincial Court for Drug Addiction is Getting a Second Chance to Help Addicts Turn From Criminals to Rehabilitated Members of Society

To some, it’s a rare occurrence when the federal government of Canada does something right that should be applauded and recognized as a good idea. It isn’t a new idea, but the feds have decided to re-open and fund provincial level courts that deal with non-violent crimes committed by drug addicts. It certainly makes a lot of sense, as such crimes are usually committed out of desperation, but it is still important to remember that they are in fact crimes and that behavior cannot be tolerated. While some hardliners would see such criminals arrested and thrown in jail for years, the more reasonable thinking believes that it’s a waste of police resources and taxpayer money to keep such people locked up in an environment that offers no real rehabilitation. This particular provincial court system is in Ontario, a province that has seen a rise in such crimes and is certainly not immune to the drug and drug related problems that we’ve seen across Canada for quite some time now. The federal government will inject $1.2 million over the next three years to help run the court and the provincial government is in the process of restructuring things to take on the administrative role of the court system itself. Unfortunately, the court has not been accepting new clients since May of 2014 as the feds refused to keep funding it, but have decided that now is as good a time as any to rehash the idea and deal with the problem of non-violent drug related crimes in a more progressive and effective manner.

“This successful program addresses the root cause of criminal behaviour to give participants the supports and strategies they need to live a productive and positive lifestyle,” Justice Minister James Allum said in a news release. A statement from Canadian Justice Minister Peter MacKay’s office late Friday said the funds will be in place by April 1.

Crime, of any nature, should not be dealt with lightly. The fact that the people who robbed corner stores, broke into homes, and whatever other means of crime because they were addicted to drugs and in desperate need of money to secure their next fix does not mean they should be given a get-out-of-jail-free-card. Some form of punishment is certainly needed in the rehabilitation process, but it’s exactly that, a process. If these small time offenders are given the chance to reconstruct their lives due to being caught and given a fair punishment and even more important, a court mandated rehabilitation opportunity, they will more or less be pushed down the right path towards sobriety and become productive members of society. It allows the provincial government and their respective judicial systems the chance to truly change lives that have been claimed by addiction, and guide those troubled people to a new life without drugs or the sense of absolute desperation that lead them to become criminals in the first place.