Matthew Perry is a big supporter of drug courts.

The 44-year-old 'Friends' star - who battled alcohol and drug addiction problems earlier in his life - backs the American court system which aims to decrease the number of drug offenders by offering non-violent persons the chance to receive treatment.

Matthew - who has been active in helping addicts and at one point even converted his Malibu beach house into a sober living facility - insists such programmes help crack down on future crime.

Talking on British current affairs show Newsnight, he said: ''I see that they work. I've been involved with them for a little over four years and people that go through drug courts have a 55 per cent less chance of seeing handcuffs ever again.''

Matthew claims that drug courts give people a second chance since they ''interrupt'' the users' substance addiction.

Quizzed on whether these people wouldn't have quit their drug habit anyway, he replied: ''Well, that gets under the bigger question of whether these people are addicts or not. I mean if they're drug addicts and alcoholics they're going to keep going until something stops them. Drug court is a wonderful way to interrupt that process. It's a way to not throw these people away.

''It takes first time non-violent drug offenders and instead of throwing them into prison it puts them into an 18-month to two-year programme.''

There are currently over 2,400 drug courts operating throughout the United States.