Jail time is often a penalty for drug abusers when they are caught. According to the law, arresting and convicting drug offenders is the best solution. From a medical perspective, drug abusers are ill and need appropriate treatment. How rational, then, is it to assign prison time to drug abusers?
In most cases, Drug Abuse involves the use or handling of legal or illegal drugs and substances in ways that go against medical advice and jail time. In other words, drug abuse taking unprescribed medication or more pills than prescribed.
Criminal activity is closely linked to drug use in virtually every country leading to a jail time. Illegal possession of drugs is a crime that has gained popularity in the United States in recent years. Based on a study conducted by the MACI, about 80% of defendants abuse alcohol or drugs while incarcerated. A study indicates at least half of us who suffer from a substance use disorder are also clinically abstinent to one or more drugs jail time.
One way to curb major crimes like drug and alcohol abuse is to provide people with the chance to recover from dependency. Because of this, they might appear that they don’t contribute to community decay, and as a result, may not cause a nuisance in their neighborhood. They cannot rejoin society because they have been given a jail time for a long time. Therefore, theoretically, the community must not be affected by their absence since so many people will be interested in reuniting the way it was. Research has shown that jail time is not always the best place for drug abusers to be housed, even though some people think jails are the best place for them. While the sentence may seem harsh, it still brings about some discomfort for the individual involved.
History of Imprisonment for Drug Offenders
According to those involved in the debate, the only way to decrease the use of marijuana is to bring about such severe punishments as possible to get people to realize the danger they put themselves in if they smoke under the influence, including jail time.. On the surface, that may seem plausible, and it may even have some appeal for some people. Taking this a step further, we have seen the birth of mandatory minimum jail term, an outgrowth of this process. As a result, people arrested for specific drug offences have been punished with jail time in addition to being found guilty. No matter what their background was or what their circumstances were, it didn’t matter one bit. There is no way a lawyer or judge can evade the litigation and judging process rules. While this has been happening, the number of people with jail time for delinquent crimes involving drug use has risen alarmingly during the intervening period.
Even though less than five per cent of the world’s population lives in the United States, it is home to one-fourth of the world’s prison population jail time. More than 300,000 individuals tend to be imprisoned on drug-related charges, including drug possession, drug dealing, or the intentional use of illegal drugs, in either state prison or federal prison in the United States. The number of inmates prohibited from release because of drug-related crimes varied slightly between 1980 and earlier. A federal prison analysis indicates that drug offences account for nearly half of the accusations against federal inmates that result in jail time. Several homicides are reported each year, but according to the latest national statistics, only one conviction occurs for homicide.
We Cannot Afford to Invest in People Long-Term. Hence, Those Funds Could Be Spent on Projects Like
- Rehabilitation Programs
- Correctional Facilities
- Clean water
- Disaster preparedness
- Employment Schemes
Drug-related crimes are rampant, and people serve jail time for them with little if any mercy. The arrest rate amongst arrests for equally serious crimes is quite low compared to the overall arrest rate. It appears that the number of people who require professional assistance is continuing to increase. Drug abuse is not a crime deterred by punishments like mandatory minimum sentencing or mandatory minimum fines and jail time. This would lead to a significant decrease in the number of new patients that come into hospitals each year. In the literature, it is not evident in the data that this view of jail time is accurate.
The Possibility of Significant Change
Many people in this country know that prisons are a waste of money and inefficiently used accounts for substantial federal spending. Sixty-three per cent of respondents to a Pew survey said legalized marijuana would lower the mandatory jail time for drug offences. They felt restrictive regulations would reduce efficiency and costs, so they favored lowering the jail time. In my opinion, this type of content will likely gain more acceptance from the majority of people if the research is repeated further and widely. Half of the voters who supported this candidate in 2001 were incarcerated at jail time.
Studies published in peer-reviewed journals show most people recognize it is unfair to offer people jail time for artificially induced crimes, such as drug usage. At the Department of Justice, there has been an effort to reform the Criminal Sentencing Guidelines to reduce jail time. Attorney General Eric Holder, who enjoys a high level of respect in the United States, believes the same way. According to a report from The New York Times, the Department of Justice intends to turn its attention back to the strategic priorities after this is resolved.
Those who traffic drugs violently should have the most severe jail time. Consequently, it will enhance deterrence, rehabilitation, and public safety. At one time, legislators believed they appeared “soft on crime” if they reduced penalties for breaking the law, so they refused to support legislation to do just that.
Congress may need to think seriously about how they can change jail time’s approach to dealing with drug addiction, and lawmakers may think hard about what could be done long-term. The lessons they learned might be valuable to us as we undergo our own jail time.
In the United States, a trend has been reported toward harsher drug laws that will lead to more jail time. States such as Texas and Kentucky are starting to introduce stricter laws to control drug use, with state representatives increasingly concerned about the issue. Since Texas passed criminal justice reform in 2014, the rate of crime has experienced a considerable drop as a result of a dramatic drop in young people’s involvement with drugs and a decrease in jail time.
It Has Been Over Ten Years Since the Reforms Were Initiated, with The Introduction of A Great Number of Innovations, Including:
- Monitoring earlier released parolees
- Individualized treatment is given to nonviolent drug offenders
- Reasonable risk assessments for releases
- Programmes to give people a second chance
These Republican lawmakers have succeeded in changing several significant treatment decisions due to their contributions.
It is common for most members of Congress to take a tough stand on crime, but they do not take a preventative stance against the early relapse of jail times. According to them, drug addicts should be treated just and those who do not receive treatment, thereby allowing for less expenditure during jail times. Supporting these laws can help legislators cut back on their costs and help keep them low.
There have been several reforms in Kentucky, and they have demonstrated the effectiveness of jail time for cost savings. State officials suggest that the reforms focused on treating rather than imprisoning individuals could save the state more than $ 40 million over the next three years. It’s not just a substantial saving, and it is a significant saving in a community where other vital needs need help.
Research indicates that inmates with jail times sent to treatment programs are more likely to stay away from crime in the future and do not pose a risk to themselves or others. In conclusion, the findings of a survey conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (1999) support the perspective outlined in this article.
It is believed that treatment can be the key to breaking the cycle of addiction, leading to the creation of a community that can handle addiction’s consequences, and may also lead to the reduction of jail time. Other states may be slow in rolling the ball towards reforming legislation for drug abusers. However, the current exemplary states demonstrate that the idea is not redundant with jail time and is justifiable.
Process of Some Reformed Regulations
The drug addiction epidemic can be especially harsh and enticing. Addiction patients sometimes feel like they can score a fix even during their limited window of freedom while serving jail time. Judges on the bench cannot simply force people to enroll in treatment and expect them to stay engaged. The law needs something significant to hold against offenders and coax them into accepting treatment and rehabilitation which is often by allowing them serve a jail time.
Individuals who face drug abuse charges are required to regularly attend public hearings to prove they are receiving treatment and have been drug tested and not given jail time. The right drug court system can help attain the balance between the treatment process and the patients’ jail time supervision.
This Program Requires the Participant to Demonstrate:
- Getting better education
- Looking for employment or staying busy with a cause.
- Living in an environment that is safe and drug-free
- Serving the public in a meaningful way
When participants receive close supervision, they are more likely to complete treatment within a short timeframe, even if their problems are not so severe that they cannot stay in treatment as long as needed.
Participants usually receive a post-treatment program following successful rehabilitation, usually only after an intensive jail time period. Many people need support groups: they may still need to support group meetings or interact with a counsellor even after having lived in sober communities for a month or more. The individual may need to remain in sober communities, participate in support groups, and attend counselling sessions in addition to their jail time.
If people think of their behavior from a long-term perspective, they are more inclined to be in a position to break a chronic habit. There is no doubt that it is better than being confined to jail time and dealing with withdrawal symptoms and potential mental health issues.
Prison Health Care for Serious Offenders
A person who avoids addiction would avoid jail most of the time, but criminal behavior can sometimes warrant jail time. Many people don’t get motivated in these reform programs to serve a jail time. A recent effort to improve prison treatment for drug abuse led to a reduction in the time individuals spent behind bars. This was an effort geared towards reducing jail time. The in-prison treatment program users are tightly supervised since clients are not permitted to leave the facility. Is it possible that these criminals would cooperate with the authorities’ request if they knew that their cooperating with the police would lead to their imprisonment in the free world?
Persons in the program have experienced a reduced risk of arrest or drug usage six months after their release from prison. Studying prison-based programs, the deduction was derived from a study devoted to researching it. Many studies have concluded that drug education programs offered in prison affect the probability of people shunning drugs when they finish their jail time, at least marginally more so than drug education programs that do not exist in prison. If the offender has access to a recovery center outside prison walls and adequate medical attention, oral therapy might help those in prison stay off drugs.
Additionally, Programs Same as This May Provide Equal Types of Interventions Offered in For Profit Addiction Treatment Programs, Including:
- Education classes on drug abuse
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Skills acquisition and development
- Meetings with support groups
The waiting list is usually long for these programs for those wishing to participate in jail time. On the waiting list of these programs in 2011, there were over 51,000 federal prisoner’s waiting. There must be an increase in the government-funded programs supporting them to ensure that they can be fully utilized. Other options include more out-of-prison initiatives that help drug abusers avoid jail time.
Hope Still Abounds
We applaud the move toward use of drug offenders as addiction treatment professionals. This would always be held high in place of mere sentencing for those who are addicted. Over the past few decade, drug abuse problems have continued to grow. More of the cases that end in jail time has accounted for this increase, and unaccounted numbers remain in the public.
A number of officials in the government alongside citizens want to find effective ways to fight the menace. Questions continue to increase: Is jail time is the wise rationale for drug abusers? Does easing sanctions affect the rate of drug crime? If stiffer prison terms are in place will it curb drug abuse? As mediators, we believe that close relatives or families can as well should have a conversation about addiction before arrest. Be on the look out for signs that you loved one may be addicted to drugs or abusing them. Get to them before the law does and subsequently serving a jail time.
Our professional drug addiction treatment can help. If you have a growing drug problem or one that may have escalated, coordinators are available to lead you in the right direction. We can help find the interventionist, to help you. Contact us now 615-490-9376 to speak with one of our agents on how to take forego jail time for rehab
”Drugs and Crime.” (n.d.). National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Accessed April 29, 2014.
Gaita, P. (March 14, 2014). “Justice Department to Reduce Federal Drug Sentences.” The Fix. Accessed April 29, 2014.
Vogel, C. (n.d.). “Prison Brake.” University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration. Accessed April 29, 2014.Frumin, A. (April 28, 2014). “The Long, Slow Push to Prison Sentencing Reform.” MSNBC. Accessed April 29, 2014.”Smart on Crime: Reforming the Criminal Justice System for the 21st Century.” (Aug. 2013). U.S. Department of Justice. Accessed April 29, 2014.
Ward, M. (Aug. 11, 2012). “Texas Prison Population Shrinks as Rehabilitation Reforms Take Root.” Statesman.com. Accessed April 29, 2014.
Lyons, D. (March 2010). “Crime and Treatment.” National Conference of State Legislatures. Accessed April 29, 2014.”Inmate Drug Abuse Treatment Slows Prison’s Revolving Door.” (n.d.). American Psychological Association. Accessed April 29, 2014.
”Drug Courts Work.” (n.d.). National Association of Drug Court Professionals. Accessed April 29, 2014.
Pelissier, B. et al. (n.d.). “Federal Prison Residential Drug Treatment Reduces Substance Use and Arrests After Release.” University of North Carolina Wilmington. Accessed April 29, 2014.
Johnson, K. (Dec. 4, 2012). “Prisoners Face Long Wait for Drug-Rehab Services.” USA Today. Accessed April 29, 2014.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.