No Jail for Drug Offenders

Posted on: August 9th, 2010  |  No Comments

For non-violent drug offenders, jail is rarely the best treatment. Communities are better served when drug offenders receive real drug treatment and counseling, rather than time behind bars.

An old editorial from the April 25, 2004 Washington Post provides a still-relevant reminder that communities are better served by treating drug offenders, rather then incarcerating them for drug offenses. Six years ago, Maryland spent less than $1 Billion per year on prisions. The budget for 2010: $1.3 Billion.

Jail is a poor rehabilitator. Incarceration is expensive, and despite the growing adminstritive cost of Maryland prisons, the money spent on education, drug treatment, and rehabilitation is being scaled back.

Treatment gives drug users real rehabilitation and better prepares them to reenter the community. The become “productive members of society”: more likely to work and contribute, and less likely to return to the underlying drug habits that got them in trouble in the first place.

Read the editorial here (PDF)

Tags: , ,

Leave a Comment