The Rome News Tribune reported in February 2011 that Gov. Nathan Deal wants fewer non-violent drug offenders in jail. He would like to see these offenders in alternatives to jail like DUI courts and Drug courts.
Floyd County is one step ahead and has been implementing a Drug Court program called Matrix since 2007. Superior Court Chief Judge Walter J. Matthews advocates drug courts as a solution that works and reduces repeat offenders but the Court Administrator says the Drug Court is in danger of running out of money. Despite the Floyd County Superior Court Judges’ good report, District Attorney Leigh Patterson claims Drug Courts are just too expensive. Locking up an inmate can cost $30,000 per year. So it seems that at the cost of 3 inmates housed for one year, Drug Courts make good economic cents!