More Treatment, Less Inmates

Did you know that out of the 2.3 million inmates in the U.S., over half have a history of substance abuse and addiction? Not only that, but out of those inmates, many have been incarcerated based on drug-related charges and other crimes such as burglary in order to feed their addictions. Many prisons have started making a case for providing treatment to prisoners as a preventative measure to lower the risk of having them return for the same crimes.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, only one-fifth of inmates get some form of treatment. They also revealed that heroin addicts who received no treatment in jail were seven times more likely than treated inmates to become re-addicted, and three times as likely to end up in prison again. Most of the treatment programs save the justice system about $47,000 per inmate.

The DEA disclosed that treatment can reduce re-entry rates for inmates from 50% to 20%.

Bob May, associate director of the Association of State Correctional Administrators, reported that
“I didn’t know that 75-80% of people I was arresting for other crimes had an abuse problem. We know from the research that with people who go through drug treatment, even if they still use drugs afterwards, their crimes are less violent and less frequent.”

Furthermore, a poll revealed that over two-thirds of Americans support state laws requiring treatment in lieu of jail time for first and second time drug offenders.

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