Allowing rehabilitation not imprisonments

Photo Via Creative Commons License.

Photo Via Creative Commons License.

Mariska Larsen, Fall Editor

Imagine the life of an addict.  There are people in the world that know they have a problem and can’t get the help that they need. 1 in 5 people in jail are there for drug related reasons and almost half of them end up going back for the same reason. When people are repeating this process so much, one has to ask the question:  What can we do differently?  People who suffer from drug addiction should not go to prison, but should rather go to rehabilitation.

Prison Does Not Help An Addict:

Life after prison is very difficult, but maybe more difficult for a recovered addict trying to stay clean. The difficulty of trying to find a job or housing as an ex-con can lead to them returning to drug use to relieve stress and to cope.

My sister who is A Loss Prevention Agent at Walmart said the need for money to support a habit leads to other crimes such as shoplifting. FAMM (families against mandatory minimums) said “over 40% of offenders end up back in jail within 3 years.”

Rehabilitation Is More Successful:

Rehab is more comfortable for a recovering addict. They get support from the people there and learn how to resist urges to use and know when they are going to use again and my mom who is a nurse said that they get detox medication to help them through the withdrawals they are more likely to stay in rehab that way.

Although some will argue that people should have to go to prison if they break the law, it has been proven that the disease should be treated so that the criminal offense does not happen again.They are closely supervised with daily drug tests to keep them from relapsing. When addicts are recovered they can get jobs to help others stay clean which helps them stay clean. Addicted pregnant women are supervised and give birth to drug-free babies.

Economic Influence:

Another reason why choosing rehab over prison is not just beneficial for the addict, but also for society is that it also costs less money. Every year it costs 31,000 dollars per inmate to keep someone in jail.

Peacevalley said “Of the 1 in 5 people in jail, 456,000 of them are there for nonviolent drug possession charges.” Drug court costs between 900 and 2,200 dollars per participant. While an estimated 250,000 dollars per baby is saved from not having to treat drug-addicted babies.


Recovery is the better option:

Overall, in an attempt to aid these individuals we should not constrict and punish them with prison instead we need to help them acknowledge their mistakes and provide a way for them to correct those mistakes with rehabilitation facilities.