In the past, drug addicts who were convicted of drug related crimes were most commonly either sent to treatment or incarcerated. I have experienced both and did not benefit much from either one. In 2001 I was in a fairly new program called Drug Court. Drug Court is a unique and extraordinary program that gives addicts the tools they need to endure life without using drugs.
Prisons today are pushed to their limits, both state, and federal prisons. Inmates are forced to live in unsanitary, unhealthy, unsafe, and poor conditions. Men and woman should not be made to sleep on floors, sleep in tents outside, or fight for a spot in a long line to shower. This issue needs to be addressed, and some states have proceeded to do so and have had great results.
Drug addiction in this country takes a toll on every single aspect of productivity, healthcare costs and on the criminal justice system. The addict themselves suffer from impaired judgment, poor anger management and violent behavior which could all lead to crimes committed and being locked up (Drugabuse.org,2017). Treatment for the users offers an alternative to imprisonment. Drugabuse.org insists that treatment offers the best alternative for interrupting the drug use and criminal behavior patterns of the offenders (2014). Additionally, untreated drug offenders “are more likely to relapse into drug use and criminal behavior, jeopardizing public health and safety and taxing the criminal justice system.”
The majority of people, especially the authorities, believe that being placed in jail is a necessary part of a person’s rehabilitation. They believe that by removing this aspect, and allowing them to go to treatment right away, they are undermining what they believe is a necessary incentive in the rehabilitation process. They also stress the fact that not all people with drug offenses are able to change and that the shock of being sent to prison is actually a better form of treatment. Also, because they broke the law, they believe prison
One of the most profound problems that plagues our society is drug addiction. With drug addiction comes those who offend and have run-ins with the law. Our country deals with these drug-addicted offenders by placing them in jails for a year or longer, only to have them come back out to society when their sentence is over. They are still drug-addicts and so they return to the street only to commit yet another crime. From here the cycle of crime, arrest, jail, and return to society continues, solving absolutely nothing. Therefore, placing drug-addicted offenders in jails fails to confront the major problem at hand which is that of the drug abuse. If drug-addicted offenders were placed in drug treatment centers instead of being incarcerated,
Another downside to the incarceration method of dealing with drug offenders is the fact that a social inequality is formed once they are released from prison. Former inmates are treated less than normal non convict citizens making it hard for them to find decent housing, sufficient paying jobs, and people in which to form meaningful relations with. A lack of these things can bring them back to a performing criminal acts, going farther than just substance abuse in order to make a living that they can’t do with a legitimate job. Another major impact that mass incarceration is having on society in the United States is in the political sector as felons are often stripped of their voting rights. Of course this can be seen as negative or positive depending on your political views, but the fact remains that with a large amount of the population being unable to vote outcomes in elections could be much different (Moroney).
Those incarcerated today are not given the chance to change their behavior patterns, especially when it is in regard to drug addiction. The criminal justice system in general does not consider drug abuse as anything but a crime and does not think about treating the disease of addiction in order to reduce or eliminate the crimes that come as a
For those addicts who want rehabilitation, finding a bed in a treatment center is a challenge; thus, many become frustrated and continue on a path of destruction. If addicts commit a criminal offense, the courts provide assistance. Due to the over- crowding of jails and prisons, many states are increasing the level of supervision, the level of drug treatment, and the intensity of probation at the front end as a formula to put broken people on the right track, piece by piece.
The use of criminal restrictions for drug related crimes is not always an entirely punitive tool, and that penalties, or even the threat of them, often urge individuals struggling with addiction or substance abuse to get the treatment they might never seek or receive on their own, therefore increasing their opportunities to become productive members of society. In fact, more than one-third of all treatment referrals in the U.S.
Drug addiction has increased drastically across America in the last fifty years. Non-violent drug offenders fill our jails and prisons. Taxpayer dollars are put into a prison system that is proving to be counter-productive. Recidivism rates are high. Drug Court is an alternative to incarceration that offers rehabilitation to criminal offenders. In drug court, the traditional functions of the U.S. justice system are profoundly altered. The judge is the leader of a treatment team. The judge makes all final decisions and holds a range of discretion unprecedented in the courtroom, including the type of treatment mandated and how to address
Drug court is also known to reduce recidivism rates. This was done through participation of the defendants and justice professionals who are involved in the program. The issues defendants have been face with are address when they are sent to drug court. Most defendants that come into the criminal justice system are faced with depression, homelessness, lack of education, lack of employment, medical and mental health issues, poor motivation, lack of family support and community support.
1. These drugs are highly addictive and will rapidly cause Physical dependence. Once they make sure that the detainees have the required dependence, they will withdraw the drugs. The detainees will then develop withdrawal symptoms
Drug offenders are one of the fasting growing populations in federal prisons. Drug offenders constitute up to nearly half of the federal prison population (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2015). They constitute, by far, the largest percentage of the population with the second highest offense being weapons, explosives, and arson at a mere 16.1% of the federal prison population (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2015). In a 1971 press conference, President Richard Nixon labeled drug abuse “public enemy number one in the United States,” which the media shortly termed the “War on Drugs” (Public Broadcasting Service, 2014). In a measure to combat the War on Drugs, President Nixon implemented mandatory sentencing (Drug Policy Alliance, 2015). Mandatory
I believe the percentages of Hispanic and African Americans incarcerated contributes to non-violent offenders placed in the American prison system. As of December 24th, 2016, 82.415 persons detained were locked up for drug offenses. Drug offenses made up 46.4% of all the listed offenses for imprisonment (Federal Bureau of Prisons, n.d.). Of those in prison, 110,871 were white, 71,647 were black, and 63,198 were Hispanic (Federal Bureau of Prisons, n.d.). It is my opinion that decriminalization and drug reform would improve drug infested communities, get non-violent drug offenders out of our prison system and assist communities to resolve the violence that follows substance abuse.
In the United States, the rise in both illicit drug and alcohol abuse is continuing at an alarming rate. In 2009 alone, the United States saw 23.5 million people over the age of 12 needing treatment for drug or alcohol abuse (National Institute of Drug Abuse, 2011). Per the Drug Enforcement Administration, in the same year (2009), almost 32,000 arrests on drug related charges were carried out (Drug Enforcement Administration, 2015). Even with the threat of prison time, and most federal prisons being filled with inmates on drug and alcohol related charges, 46.4% in 2016 the use and abuse of these substances is still on the rise (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2016). Because of this, and the seemingly ineffective incarceration system, the call for