Section 12-23A-3

Legislative intent.

(a) The Legislature recognizes that a critical need exists in this state for the criminal justice system to more effectively address the number of defendants who are involved with substance abuse or addiction. For the criminal justice system to maintain credibility, court and community alternatives for the substance abuse and addiction involved defendant must be expanded. A growing body of research demonstrates the impact of substance abuse on public safety, personal health, and health care costs, the spread of communicable disease, educational performance and attainment, work force reliability and productivity, family safety, and financial stability. Requiring accountability and effective treatment, in addition to or in place of, conventional and expensive incarceration, will promote public safety, the welfare of the individuals involved, reduce the burden upon the State Treasury and benefit the common welfare of this state. The goals of this chapter are to do all of the following:

(1) Enhance community safety and quality of life for citizens.

(2) Reduce recidivism.

(3) Reduce substance abuse.

(4) Increase the personal, familial, and societal accountability of drug offenders.

(5) Restore drug offenders to productive, law-abiding, and taxpaying citizens.

(6) Promote effective interaction and use of resources among criminal justice and community agencies.

(7) Reduce the costs of incarceration.

(8) Improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system by enacting an effective methodology.

(b) As a general proposition, all drug offenders should receive timely eligibility screening and, where indicated, assessment and the appropriate level of treatment. The criminal justice system should be used constructively to motivate drug offenders to accept treatment and engage in the treatment process.

(Act 2010-754, p. 1909, §3.)