Drug use Policies Prison Jails Overcrowding Criminal Justice – Yes

The statistics can be Googled and you will be amazed.  Crime in America is driven by the use of Drugs and Alcohol. People commit crimes under the influence as well as for the intention to obtain or purchase.

Some of the statistics give conflicting numbers and that is where an explanation rather than a news report is better. Take prostitution for instance, women mostly and men who sell their bodies or services for money usually use drugs daily, as a matter of fact if it was not drugs that made them become prostitutes, once they became prostitutes they got hooked on drugs and the money they made went to support their habit. Drug use and distribution are already crimes and then you add that a high percent of users are from an impoverished area, so committing a crime to earn money to purchase drugs is not uncommon and that brings this discussion to the point of saying that drug abuse is most likely related to about 40% give or take a percent or two, to the crime rate in America.

Now it is not just the poor that contribute to this statistic, but they are usually the ones who do the most time and fill the jails and cost the tax payers millions a year. 

What will be done? Will society just accept it or can Americans take it to the leaders and tell them let’s take the burden off of the Criminal Justice System and treat the cause of this crime wave. If half of all the criminals in the system who committed crimes are there because of a drug related matter and there is legislation in place to treat the problem before incarceration it would be safe to think that possibly 18 to 20 percent of those offenders could be allowed to remain free and be working toward being positive contributors to the Society.

In today’s society it is common to lock them up for the crime then place them in a drug treatment plan and then the tax payers pay the bill. If this problem is solved differently they are given an opportunity to get into a drug program and they will be responsible for some of the costs even if they are minimal and then overcrowded jails get some needed relief.

What would the policies be? That is a good question, but first it is important to get the ball rolling in that direction.

Just a note, many people’s lives have been given limitations on career advancement and certain jobs because of a felony conviction for possession or use of an illegal substance. With policies in place it is possible that a person who goes into treatment could avoid a criminal record and take a mistake that could ruin their life to a lesson learned and become a part of society instead of a burden.

It is imperative that this be looked into and taken as an option to solve many problems that face the youth, and the families and communities of America. It is amazing how this one problem be dealt with differently would change so much.