Treatment or Incarceration? Drug Addiction Facts

Facts Show Drug Treatment More Effective Than Incarceration

Atlanta, GA 9/10/2008 02:03 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)

What to do with drug offenders? Is locking them up more of a deterrent than treating them as drug addicts?

Narconon Drug Rehab in Georgia was originally started as a treatment program for non-violent offenders. “A judge let me use the Narconon protocol on drug offenders and drug addicts to see if rehabilitation was a better route than incarceration,” comments Mary Rieser, Executive Director for Narconon Drug Rehab in Georgia.

“Our results 7 years ago and today show that fewer people revert to drugs or criminal behavior after completing the program than they would if they had not done a drug rehab program and simply gone to jail.”

National surveys show this to be the case.

In a speech given by  Daniel Macallair from The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Mr. Macallair gives statistics:

-In the seven decades from 1910 to 1980, the number of inmates grew by 462,006, while in the 1990’s alone, the number of inmates grew by an estimated 816,965.

-In the year 2000, American taxes spent nearly $40 billion in prisons and jails, with nearly $24 billion of that to incarcerate non-violent offenders.

-In many states, prison budgets far outstrip budgets for higher education.

-While the US comprises only 5% of the world’s population, 25% of those incarcerated worldwide are incarcerated in the US.

-In 1999, the Sentencing Project reported that between 1980 and 1997, drug arrests tripled in the United States.

- In 1997, four out of five drug arrests (79.5%) were for possession, with 44% of those arrests for marijuana offenses.

-Between 1980 and 1997, while the number of drug offenders entering prisons skyrocketed, the proportion of state prison space housing violent offenders declined from 55% to 47%.7.

-Between 1978 and 1996, 76% of the increase in admissions to America's prisons was attributable to non-violent offenders. The majority of these were incarcerated for drug offenses.

-While blacks make up about 13% of regular drug users in the US, they make up 62.7% of all drug offenders admitted to prison.
-While there are 5 times as many white drug users as black drug users, black men are admitted to state prison for drug offenses at a rate that is 13.4 times greater than that of white men. This drives an overall black incarceration rate that is 8.2 times higher than the white incarceration rate.

-Nearly one in four (23.7%) prisoners in America is incarcerated for a non-violent drug offense.

- Using federal, state and local average per prisoner annual costs, the price tag for incarcerating 458,131 nonviolent drug offenders comes to $9.420  billion annually.

According to the RAND Corporation:

Mandatory minimum sentences are not justifiable on the basis of cost-effectiveness at reducing cocaine consumption, cocaine expenditures, or drug related-crime. Mandatory minimums reduce cocaine consumption less per million taxpayer dollars spent than does spending the same amount on enforcement under the previous sentencing regime. And either type of incarceration approach reduces drug consumption less than does putting heavy users through treatment programs, per million dollars spent.

The Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Barry R. McCaffrey, stated:

“It is clear that we cannot arrest our way out of the problem of chronic drug abuse and drug-driven crime. We cannot continue to apply policies and programs that do not deal with the root causes of substance abuse and attendant crime. Nor should we expect to continue to have the widespread societal support for our counter-drug programs if the American people begin to believe these programs are unfair.”

While imprisoning offenders may provide comfort to some in terms of public safety, it does little to reduce the cluster of issues which will see these people cycle in and out of the nation’s corrections system. What is needed is a solution less costly than building more prisons and more effective at reducing recidivism. The good news is, the solution already exists.

Call Narconon Drug Rehab in Georgia at 1-877-413-3073 .
Copyright © 2008 Narconon of Georgia Inc. ( All rights reserved. Narconon and the Narconon Logo are trademarks and service marks owned by the Association for Better living and Education International and are used with its permission. Narconon of Georgia is a non-profit 501© public benefit corporation.


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