The Drug Problem and the Current Justice System Essay

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The Drug Problem and the Current Justice System

The United States Correctional System is often challenged as to whether it wants to rehabilitate drug offenders or punish them, and because of this it mostly does neither. Even though drug abuse and drug trafficking are widely spread national issues, the mental, social, and economic costs of "healing" through incarceration are only making the "disease" worse. Never before have more prisoners been locked up on drug offenses than today. Mixed with the extremely high risks of today's prison environment, the concept of incarceration as punishment for drug offenders cannot be successful. Without the correct form of rehabilitation through treatment within Michigan's Correctional System, drug
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According to the Department of Justice, studies of recidivism say that "the amount of time inmates serve in prison does not increase or decrease the likelihood of recidivism, whether recidivism is measured as parole revocation, re-arrest, reconviction, or return to prison"(United States National Institute of Justice 21). How much does this apply to drug abuse? A comprehensive study of addiction by John Keene was conducted with three groups of convicts being surveyed, each group at different phases of incarceration. The first group of 134 prisoners was questioned as to whether they were using drugs before they were incarcerated. Almost 74% admitted to using some type of drug before they were imprisoned. In the second group of 119 inmates, 75% were using drugs while incarcerated. This specifically proves that it is very common for an inmate to use drugs while in prison. This also portrays an administration that cannot trust its own employees because, somehow, drugs find a way into the hands of inmates who never left the grounds of the prison. If that isn't disturbing enough, in the third group of 119 convicts more than 82% disclosed using drugs in their communities after release (Keene). How can a non violent drug abuser serving his time in prison attempt to rehabilitate himself and become less of a threat to the community when there is such a large
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