Treatment or Incarceration? Essay

1879 Words 8 Pages
There is an epidemic of almost epic proportions in this wonderful nation called the United States. However, this epidemic is not only national; it is worldwide. And because of this epidemic there are other problems in society such as an increase in crime and prison overcrowding. The epidemic is that of Substance Abuse and Addiction. The penal systems of each state house more prisoners due to drug related crimes than any other. The statistics do not lie; they only tell the truth. Treatment instead of incarceration would be beneficial to the addict himself and to society as a whole. Evidence shows treatment would lower the amount of criminal activity due to substance abuse and addiction. Logic shows that if a problem is cured then the …show more content…
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia’s article “Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction” states that over half of the deaths on America’s highways were by driver’s that were intoxicated. The population of North Carolina’s prison system has grown in each of the past few years (Price). However, if indeed there was a different course of action that could be taken to end the crimes before the criminals even have the opportunity to commit a crime, should not that very course of action be investigated.
That course of action is treatment for the convicted offenders. Not to say those who break the law should not have to pay restitution to society, though. Treatment of those who were convicted of drug related offenses could be placed in treatment and returned to society as a productive citizen. The nation’s penal system calls itself rehabilitating the inmates. Statistics prove otherwise. Recidivism has been proven to be low for individuals that have gone through treatment but not for those do not have the opportunity (Cooper). The Federal Bureau of Prisons have found of those inmates who did receive treatment only 3% were rearrested within 6 months, but found over 12% that did not complete treatment were rearrested within 6 month of release (Schmidt). That is a large difference and does not show that the penal system is rehabilitating. Only a few of the number of people that completed treatment went on to continue their criminal career,