The effects of addiction on the brain and mind create an obsessive mindset that “naturally” leads to criminal type behaviors when drug supplies are lacking. Trends on drug abuse and crime reflect this pattern of behavior and account for a good percentage of the prison population in general.
It’s no secret how addiction takes over a person’s ability to choose, let alone distinguish right from wrong. In an effort to address the cyclic pattern of drugs and crime many states have implemented a drug court system designed to provide needed treatment help in the place of automatic incarceration.
Rehabilitation during incarceration also offer viable options for reducing crime rates and repeat offenses.
Under these conditions, rehab does hold some credence in terms of reducing crime by addressing the root of the problem rather than its resulting behaviors.
Trends on Drug Abuse & Crime
A large percentage of prisoners are serving for drug-related offenses.
Possessing large quantities of drugs, trafficking drugs and crimes committed in an effort to obtain money for drugs account for the majority of drug-related offenses committed.
According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, drug-related arrests exist as the largest crime category, with drugs accounting for an estimated 12.2 percent of 14 million arrests in 2008.
Not surprisingly, these patterns have resulted in over-crowding in correctional facilities across the nation, with 20 percent of all state prisoners and 53 percent of all federal prisoners serving time for drug-related offenses.
The drug court model offers offenders the option of entering drug rehab in the place of going to jail based on a person’s eligibility for treatment. Drug courts typically work with criminal offenders, juveniles, veterans and parents involved with the child welfare systems as well as other selected case types.
Addiction warps a person’s overall psychological makeup and breeds its own mindset, priorities and behaviors in his or her life. Whether a person is appearing in court or currently serving time, the need for rehab treatment help remains.
Referring a person to rehab as opposed to sending him or her to jail better addresses the problem at its root. Likewise, ensuring someone who’s just been released from jail has the necessary supports in place to reduce the likelihood of repeat offenses has a better chance of reducing crime and incarceration rates overall, according to the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services.
If drug-related activities were simply a matter of evil intent or lack of moral character, incarceration may well be an effective means for curtailing these types of behaviors, but they’re not. The mechanism of addiction takes on a life of its own when left untreated regardless of whatever consequences may lie in wait.
For these reasons, drug court models and drug rehab in general offers a more productive approach to addressing today’s crime crisis.
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