As for "hug a thug", that sounds terrible, but maybe isn't really. From your link:
For first time offenders, that just might work. If they want to stay out of jail badly enough to get a job and submit to regular drug testing, it could help get some of them out of the dependency lifestyle.To avoid jail, the woman has chosen to enroll in the Integrated Treatment Court.
Probation, with a twist
The 15-month program is similar to probation, with drug and sobriety tests as well as addiction counseling. But there is an important difference. Usually, therapists are required to keep their conversations with clients confidential. However, in integrated treatment cases, they speak openly with Glowinsky, probation officers and other members of the team. "It's the heart of the model that you get a full picture," says Glowinsky. "A lot of people with addictions are good at deception and the model doesn't let you get away with it since we all talk every couple of weeks."