Is It Possible to Go to Rehab Instead of Jail? by Rehab Recovery Centers

If you have been arrested for a drug-related crime, you may wonder if you can go to rehab instead of jail. In many cases, completing an addiction treatment program is recommended rather than serving time in jail. This is especially true if you committed a crime as a direct result of your substance use disorder.

Many people who suffer from addiction also had a run-in with the law. This is extremely common, as the lifestyle that comes along with drug addiction fosters an environment of illegal activity. According to research, 85% of people who committed a burglary, 82% of people who committed a DUI, and 75% of individuals with a drug possession charge also had a substance use disorder.[1] As a result, court-mandated rehab is often offered as an alternative to serving time in jail.

Why is Rehab a Better Alternative to Jail?

Addiction is a complex and progressive disease that can cause an array of consequences. If you struggle with addiction, you know that there are many instances in which you could be arrested. Just having an illicit drug in your pocket could land you a jail sentence. But would going to jail actually help you overcome the circumstances that led you to break the law?

In most cases, rehab is more beneficial than serving time in jail. While jail sentences are intended to discourage you from breaking the law again, if you suffer from a substance use disorder and do not receive the treatment you need, you will likely re-offend.

According to research, 1 in 5 incarcerated people is locked up for a drug-related offense.[2] Additionally, the Prison Policy Initiative reports, “At least 1 in 4 people who go to jail will be arrested again within the same year — often those dealing with poverty, mental illness, and substance use disorders, whose problems only worsen with incarceration.”[2]

With that being said, it is clear that people who suffer from substance use disorders require addiction treatment, rather than a jail or prison sentence. If you have been arrested for a non-violent, drug-related crime, you would probably benefit more from a substance abuse treatment program that could help you learn to maintain long-term sobriety rather than being incarcerated.

How to Get a Rehab Sentence Instead of Jail Time

If you are attempting to get court-ordered rehab instead of jail time, there are some criteria that you must meet to be eligible. These criteria are in place to ensure that the crime you committed is, in fact, a result of your substance use disorder.

The criteria for court-ordered rehab include:

  • Not committing a violent crime
  • The offense was a result of your substance use disorder
  • The court believes that rehab would be more beneficial for you than jail
  • You qualify for a probationary sentence

If you are found to be qualified for court-ordered rehab, you can usually choose the facility you would like to attend. However, you must be able to pay for your treatment. Sometimes rehab programs have sliding scale fees or accept insurance to make it more affordable for you.

Once you are provided with a court-mandated rehab sentence, you must complete all of the following criteria to avoid going to jail:

  • Attend the facility for the length of time the judge requires
  • Stay sober from drugs or alcohol and complete random screening tests
  • Give regular updates to your court-appointed officials
  • Compete court-ordered community service if necessary

What is the Goal of Court-Mandated Addiction Treatment?

If you suffer from a substance use disorder, being incarcerated doesn’t address your addiction issues. This is what causes many people to end up back in jail, as their substance abuse is the root cause of their legal troubles. Keeping this in mind, the overall goal of court-ordered rehab is to ensure that you receive the help you need to overcome addiction, as this will prevent you from ending up back in the legal system.

Additionally, court-ordered addiction treatment aims to improve your overall quality of life. Living with an addiction can severely impact your ability to function in your daily life. This could mean you have a hard time finding or keeping a job, which could lead you to commit crimes to obtain money for bills.

Court-ordered rehab works to teach you how to live a life free of substances. They will provide you with services that teach you how to get a job, keep one, and complete your daily responsibilities with ease.

Research has proven that court-mandated rehab is just as effective as voluntary treatment if you suffer from a substance use disorder.[3] Also, the rates of drug abuse after someone completes court-ordered rehab are less than people who did not attend treatment (56% vs 76%).[4]

Attending Court-Ordered Rehab at a Top-Rated Addiction Treatment Facility

If you or a loved one committed a drug-related crime, you may have received court-ordered rehab instead of jail time. This provides you with the opportunity to recover from addiction, instead of serving a sentence in jail for a crime that was a direct result of your substance abuse issues.

At Rehab Recovery Centers, we can connect you with a top-rated addiction treatment program that specializes in court-ordered rehab. Contact us today for more information.



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