Updated: May 13, 2012 10:33AM
JOLIET — Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said heroin cases are “skyrocketing” estimating less than 20 cases were submitted for prosecution a decade ago, but more than 300 in each of the last two years.
And it is the ancilliary crimes narcotics bring that dominate the need for law enforcement.
“Nearly three-quarters of all crime is drug related (for example) someone committing a burglary or committing armed robbery and using the proceeds for drugs,” Glasgow said. “And in 90 percent of the domestic violence cases there’s substance abuse (including alcohol) involved.”
Glasgow wants police efforts to focus on dealers and believes the Drug Court program pays off for everybody in the long run.
“If you have a young person who gets arrested for having heroin, I don’t condone that,” he said. “But if they’re a non-violent user and we keep hanging felonies on them. They can’t get a job. They’re going to keep using, drain social services and go out and commit more crimes — harming society until they get put behind bars again or die.”
It’s estimated for every dollar invested in drug court, $10 is saved in correction costs.
If a defendant is successful in applying to the drug court, they sign a contract pleading guilty, but agreeing to comply with treatment recommendations for the duration of the program. Participants appear before a judge at least every other week and submit to random drug testing in addition to attending outside support meetings.