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Drug Rehabilitation Essay

1626 words - 7 pages

Drug Addition Treatment Instead of Jail TimeRepeat drug offenders deserve mandatory jail time. However, people who are arrested for the first time for a drug offense may deserve a chance at rehabilitation within a treatment facility. While many judicial systems utilize the use of drug treatment programs within the jail system, there is currently a push for alternative drug programs based within hospitals and clinics. Close supervision can prevent drug-addicted criminals from becoming repeat offenders. That has created a national system of six hundred drug courts that currently provide treatment and counseling to inmates as an alternative to regular jail time (Yang, 1999).The Los Angeles Times reports (Greene, 2000) that one answer to the problem of jail overcrowding has a simple and cost-effective solution. The Orange County jail system is currently overcrowded due to sentencing drug offenders to jail time instead of residential rehabilitation. The County Sheriff cites statistics that show utilizing the programs within the residential treatment centers for rehabilitation of drug offenders was not only cheaper to the citizens, but this sentencing also lessens the chance of repeat offenses. While the overcrowding of the jails are an issue, the "answer is not to build more jails but to fund more residential treatment centers with trained substance abuse counselors".Supporters of treatment programs feel the judicial system should needs to allow for treatment as a sentencing option and use it more frequently. Lawyers and judges need to educate themselves concerning different treatment options and treat each case individually to provide the best option for treatment. Probation officers will have the opportunity to visit their clients at the treatment center while citizens should be educated on the benefits of this type of program. By advertising positive exposure to the possibility of a residential treatment center within a neighborhood, citizens would become more tolerant to this situation.California voters recently passed a law that requires nonviolent drug offenders to enter a drug treatment program instead of serving time in jail. While many law enforcement groups objected, the California State Legislature estimates that approximately 36,000 people will have access to treatment and counseling. If first time drug offenders had to serve time in jail, they would not have the adequate help they might need in order to overcome the addiction (Peters, 2000).Orange County Studies (Yang, 1999) showed that the costs for a participant are $3,000 a year compared to $2,000-$2,500 for traditional drug courts. But a new study found that Orange County's approach is paying off in other ways. Most programs have 34 % repeat offenders. However, with the supervised rehabilitation treatment program, only 22% of those completing the program are seen within the county courts for a second time. Yang states that the study, which was commissioned by the Center for Applied...

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