New WRAL Documentary Examines N.C. Drug Treatment Court Questions Budget Cuts
Most of the crime that occurs in our communities can be traced to substance abuse. North Carolina’s Drug Treatment Courts (DTC) help address the problem by giving drug-addicted, non-violent criminals an opportunity to enter a court supervised drug treatment program instead of going to jail or prison. So why did the state legislature cut funding to a program that’s proven to save money and lives? That’s the focus of a new WRAL Documentary “Justice and Redemption,” narrated by WRAL News anchor Gerald Owens, premiering Tuesday, October 9 at 7pm.
The cost of someone going through DTC is a small fraction of the average $28,000 a year it costs to put someone in prison. Drug Treatment Courts also save the state money in Medicaid, health care and other human service costs by breaking the cycle of addiction and turning repeat offenders into productive tax-paying citizens.
In 2011, the General Assembly cut state funding for the program, eliminating 33 DTC coordinators and managers. The cuts closed down five DTC’s and limited the operation of others.
As other states expand Drug Treatment Courts, many question why North Carolina would do just the opposite. “Justice and Redemption” goes inside our state’s Drug Treatment Courts to see how they work and questions policymakers about funding cuts to the program.
Statewide Broadcast Schedule
- WRAL-TV, Raleigh, Tuesday, October 9 at 7:00pm
- WILM-TV, Wilmington, Tuesday, October 9 at 7:00pm
- WMYT-TV, Charlotte, Sunday, October 21 at 10:30pm
- WJZY-TV, Charlotte, Monday October 21 at 6:00pm
- WRAZ-TV, Durham, Sunday, November 18 at 5:00pm
To watch a preview of the documentary, go to www.wral.com Search: WRAL doc.
The documentary will also be available for on-demand viewing anytime after the premiere television broadcast on October 9.
Watch and discuss on twitter using #DrugCourt
WRAL Documentary is one of the only dedicated documentary units in local TV. Its mission is to provide in-depth coverage of topics and issues relevant to North Carolinians.
- Watch the “Justice & Redemption” promo here
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Debbie Tullos for this capcom story & graphic.