Drug Courts Can Lead to 'Net-Widening' and Increased Arrests
"Net-widening refers to 'an expansion in the number of offenders arrested and charged after the implementation of [a drug court] because well-meaning police and prosecutors now believe there to be something worthwhile that can happen to offenders once they are in the system (i.e., treatment instead of prison).'387 When drug courts are created, police in some cities have arrested more people and prosecutors have filed more charges.388
"The very presence of the drug court, with its significantly increased capacity for processing cases, has caused police to make arrests in, and prosecutors to file, the kinds of $10 and $20 hand-to-hand drug cases that the system simply would not have bothered with before, certainly not as felonies."389"
"America’s Problem-Solving Courts: The Criminal Costs of Treatment and the Case for Reform," National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer (Washington, DC: September 2009), p. 42.