Jack Walker Published

Armstead Declares May ‘Treatment Court Month’

A brown gavel rests on a table while blurred books are shown in the background.
There are 66 different treatment courts across West Virginia, providing an alternative to incarceration for individuals with substance use disorder who are convicted of nonviolent crimes.
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Substance use disorder often plays a role in crimes reviewed by West Virginia courtrooms, according to Chief Justice Tim Armstead of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

That’s why the state offers an alternative to incarceration for nonviolent offenders with substance use disorder: treatment court.

Treatment courts allow West Virginians with substance use disorders to receive counseling and medical support, as opposed to outright incarceration.

To celebrate the work that these programs do, Armstead issued a proclamation last week declaring the month of May “Treatment Court Month” in West Virginia.

“In many cases, substance abuse and addiction play a role in criminal conduct committed by individuals who come before our courts,” Armstead said. “Treatment courts are an important tool in holding these individuals accountable for their actions while at the same time providing them the encouragement, accountability and support network they may need to overcome their addiction.”

In 2023, West Virginia had 66 different treatment courts. Armstead said these programs play an important role in improving public safety, without the financial burden tied to incarceration.

“Graduates of treatment courts can return to their families and jobs, which bolsters our economy and improves public safety,” he said. “Treatment courts also save the state thousands of dollars for each participant who is not incarcerated.”