Whiteside Manor - Affordable California Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center
We'll help you find and stay on the right path
Call 1-800-300-RECOVER (7326)

. . .

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

States Choosing Treatment Over Prison

Drug and alcohol offenses put more people behind bars every year than anything else, which serves to do nothing but hold addicts back from getting the real help they require. Prison and jail sentences do very little in helping addicts deal with their addiction and get on the road to recovery. Long term addiction treatment has proven to be much more effective over incarceration and saves the country billions of dollars as well as teaches people how to become productive members of society. Fortunately, more and more states are seeing the light and turning to treatment before incarceration for drug and alcohol offenders. This fact comes as no surprise considering drug arrests nearly tripled between 1980 and 2009, rising from 580,000 to 1.6 million, according to the FBI.

The fledgling economy has aided in state officials reconsidering their draconian drug laws and looking towards alternative forms of punishment, such as mandatory treatment. States can no longer afford to recycle prisoners whose only crime was their addiction. Kentucky is a state which is on board with this new mode of thought; they just passed a new law lowering penalties for many drug offenses and have directed more money towards rehabilitation and drug testing. Republican state senator Tom Jensen said, "If you just throw everyone in jail, it's terribly expensive and they get out and they are in the same boat." Colorado, Kentucky, New York, and South Carolina have already passed legislation on new drug laws and similar bills are being worked on in Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

The more addicts that can be channeled away from prison and into rehab, the more impact it will have on creating safer more productive communities as well as save the country billions of dollars every year. Lawmakers are finally looking at all the facts and have realized that prison is only a temporary solution to problems that affect people for a lifetime. "We know so much more today than we did 30 years ago when we started down the prison-building path about what works to stop the cycle of crime and addiction," said Adam Gelb, a senior policy analyst at The Pew Center on the States, a nonpartisan organization that collects state data on corrections and sentencing policy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!