Nationally, drug offenders sentenced to prison have a 75 percent recidivism rate, Canterbury said.
"If you put them in prison, they're going to be exposed to offenders who are going to give them some very bad ideas," he noted.
If all participants in adult and juvenile drug courts were placed in prison or juvenile facilities, it would cost the state an additional $20 million a year in incarceration costs, he said.
The Supreme Court's 2014-15 budget request of $131.8 million is an increase of about $10.3 million over the current budget, Canterbury said.
About half the increase is to cover costs of expanding drug courts and hiring 20 new probation officers, while half is for costs of setting up a statewide computer e-filing network for circuit courts, he said.
Also, he said that if the Legislature approves a $504 across-the-board pay raise for state employees, Canterbury said the Supreme Court will need an additional $702,346 to give the same raise to all non-elected judicial branch employees.
He said people complain about the size of the Supreme Court budget, not understanding that budget covers the entire judicial branch statewide.
"They don't understand that when we say 'court,' we mean every single part of it. We mean magistrates. We mean family courts. We mean circuit courts," he said.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.