Op-Ed: The growth of specialty courts: It's a good solution for Alabama
The most promising national policy trend in alternative corrections has been the emergence of specialty courts. These alternative courts — such as mental health or drug courts — route eligible offenders into the appropriate social-service delivery system while maintaining accountability and protecting public safety.
More than 150 mental health courts in more than 25 states are providing offenders with needed services and supports under close court supervision. Significant cost savings could be generated in Alabama if specialty court models for offenders with mental health and addiction disorders were implemented across the state. Results so far from these specialty courts are extremely promising, particularly in reduced recidivism.