Florida drug courts not yielding expected savings to state
"An expansion of the state's drug courts is not yielding the cost savings lawmakers had originally projected, a state review found.
A 2009 appropriation of $19 million in federal dollars to establish eight new drug courts was expected to yield $95 million in cost savings for the correctional system by diverting certain offenders to supervised treatment programs instead of prisons. But so far, the state isn't seeing those type of savings, the Legislature's Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability found.
State policy makers had initially hoped to divert 4,000 offenders from prison over a two-year period, the officials wrote. But they are nowhere near hitting that goal, even though the courts have been performing well for those being served.
According to the report, as of June 30, the expanded drug courts have admitted 324 offenders, short of the mid-year target of 900.
"In addition, cost savings are reduced because programs appear to be serving many offenders unlikely to be sentenced to prison in the absence of drug court," the report said."