When arrests are made for drug and alcohol charges, most of the time these criminals need help.
Repeat offenders, people who have been arrested for drug possession, then for public intoxication, and then finally for a DUI, for example, generally have an addiction that is not being treated.
Locking someone up for a predetermined amount of time will not change the addict behaviors that happened before prison, and that will happen again after that person is released from prison.
Rehab Instead Of Lock Up
Instead of just locking people up, a lot of judges will send addicted criminals to rehab. There are many celebrities who have gotten that option: get treatment for your addiction or spend time in jail.
Those who need the most help though, are usually not in the spotlight. Years of substance abuse and a subsequent life of crime does not bode well when facing another sentence. If we can treat these people for drug and alcohol addiction, though, we may save them a life of jail and addiction, and in turn we save taxpayer money on further legal involvement.
Dual Diagnosis Programs
Dual diagnosis programs treat people with multiple disorders. Criminals may have an opiate addiction plus a clinically diagnosable mental illness. Since we cannot provide private substance abuse treatment to every person who is breaking the law, the judicial system is considering adding dual diagnosis programs for people who need it and who are currently locked up.
It seems that treating people while in jail can save time and money in the long-run. If I get sober in jail, and go through a rehab program that addresses both my addiction and my mental illness, I may cooperate better while in jail, I may be a better member of society when my sentence is over, and I may never return to the life of drugs and crime I engaged in before I went to jail.
What do you think?
Post by: Marissa Maldonado
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