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Drug Courts Now Mandatory In New Jersey For All Drug Possession Cases

Governor Christie signed a law last week that makes drug courts mandatory for all people charged with possession of controlled dangerous substances. Previously, the drug courts were only available to first time offenders.

The courts are now mandatory for even repeat offenders. The focus is get people treatment and makes completion of either an in patient or out patient treatment program a critical part of the criminal justice system. While this goal is laudable, it still leaves open the unsettling fact that sellers of drugs are always treated as criminals but the people who buy or use the drugs are treated, in general, as people needing treatment.

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