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Drug Possession And Drug Related Crime

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Macro Problem
The criminal justice system and government have too harsh of penalties related to drug possession and drug related crime. We have made substance abuse a crime instead of treating it as a disease, thus creating overcrowding in prisons, unemployment rate increases, increase in welfare recipients, and many other social issues. We do not spend enough money on treatment programs so many of addicts are housed in jail and prison. This issue impacts my client, Amber, because she was in much greater need of substance abuse treatment than jail time. If she had an opportunity to address her mental health issues when she first entered the criminal justice system, she may have stopped illegal activity, sought treatment for her addiction and changed her trajectory.
Intervention
Implementing a program that offers comprehensive mental health assessments in jail that include: case management by a social worker, treatment plans and goals, Long-term substance abuse rehabilitation, and aftercare. This intervention will occur on a state level.
Context
Substance use and misuse has been a societal problem for centuries. Kentucky, specifically has struggled with prescription drug abuse over the last 20 years, and “Kentucky has the highest rates of illicit opioid use than the nation for all age groups” (REACH of Louisville, 2011, p. 4) not to mention the “highest drug overdose death rates in the country, at 17.9 per 100,000 people; ranking sixth highest in the nation” (Cordini,
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