The Jackson Sun is reporting that Tennessee is getting nine recovery courts:
Recovery courts are specialized courts or court calendars that incorporate intensive judicial supervision, treatment services, sanctions and incentives to address the needs of addicted nonviolent offenders, according to a news release from the state. The approved fiscal year 2013-2014 budget included $1.56 million for the nine new courts, the release said.
The courts that will be created through the funding will combine the services currently found in drug courts with those of mental health courts and veterans courts.
As the story notes, these kinds of courts are usually separate, but obviously, there's a lot of overlap in the kinds of cases they handle, so bringing them all together under one roof is not only a great use of resources, it really will help the people in those courts get the help they need so they don't end up in regular criminal court. A veteran with PTSD and a pain-pill addiction can, for instance, get help for his PTSD, even if he's in court for a drug offense, rather than not having his mental illness addressed until he's arrested specifically for something related to that.
These specialized courts do great work helping to keep nonviolent offenders out of jails or prisons where they're often exposed to massive amounts of violence (and, often, easy access to drugs), and they do seem to provide a path for recovery to people willing to take it.
So, this is really good news.