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Criminal charges don't automatically come with prison time

People who are facing nonviolent criminal charges in Arkansas might end up going through a program from the Arkansas Community Correction (ACC) program. This may provide them with an option that enables them to remain in the community instead of having to go to prison. In some cases, the person will receive services at a Community Corrections Center, which is a residential program.

This state department utilizes several options to help people convicted of criminal acts re-enter society and move toward productive adulthood. Two of the most common programs handled by this department are probation and parole. The supervision officers monitor individuals in these programs for the duration of the time that the court orders.

The ACC also oversees specialty courts, which include Veterans' Court, Drug Court, Mental Health Court and HOPE and Swift Courts. Each of these has a target defendant who the program will work for.

Drug court, for example, is for nonviolent individuals who are addicted to drugs. The individuals receive treatment and follow a path toward productivity. Community support meetings, such as narcotics anonymous, are part of this program.

The residential programs can last up to 365 days. As part of the program, people may undergo short-term intensive drug rehabilitation for 30 to 90 days. The court must order this, so anyone who needs this must ensure that they work with their defense attorney to let the judge know of this need.

Ultimately, your defense strategy must address your situation and needs. Not every program is appropriate for all defendants. There might be other options available to you, so be sure to find out exactly which ones may help you.

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