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Prison isn't always the answer for drug cases

When many people hear about someone who has been convicted of a drug charge, they might think "throw them in jail because that's the best place for them." That, however, isn't the case. In many instances, a person convicted of a drug crime needs to get treatment for the drug addiction because without treatment, they are likely to reoffend when they are released from prison.

Consider this -- about 73 percent of federal inmates and around 83 percent of state inmates have used illegal drugs in the past. Around 36 percent of inmates in jails, 22 percent of federal inmates and 33 percent of state inmates were on drugs or influenced by drugs at the time of their criminal actions. When it comes to drug offenders, about half of them will end up back in prison because of a technical violation like not passing a drug test.

There are many reasons why drug treatment is a good alternative to prison in cases that involve an addict. One of these is that the costs of treatment are only a fraction of what it costs to incarcerate a person. Not only does help to reduce the cost of dealing with the current charges, but it can also help to reduce the overall costs of the interaction with the criminal justice system because people who successfully complete drug treatment programs are less likely to return to the criminal justice system again.

If you are facing drug charges, you might be able to participate in alternative programs. Learning about your options can help you with your defense strategy.

Source: DualDiagnosis.org, "Alternative Options to Prison," accessed March 04, 2016

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