In an effort to balance the state’s budget, Del. Rob Bell voted in favor of eliminating the funding for the Charlottesville/Albemarle Drug Court, Tasha Kates writes in the Daily Progress. Drug courts exist to help drug addicts kick the habit, rather than tossing them in prison, which is both ineffective and a lot more expensive. They’re a big money saver, which is why Sheriff Chip Harding (a Republican, like Del. Bell) is an ardent supporter of them. Since the budget amendment passed with 61% of the vote, this isn’t likely to change.
Cutting the funding for drug courts to save money reminds me of when Governor Mark Warner closed down the liquor stores one day a week to save money; since they’re profitable, that didn’t make much sense.