Is drug treatment better for society than incarceration?

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2019 | Drug Charges

If you have been arrested for using illegal drugs in Indiana, you could face serious jail or prison time, depending on the crime and the circumstances. Although many offenders are locked up for their crimes, advocates are now saying that drug treatment may be a better option than incarceration. Rather than locking someone up for committing a crime, it may be more beneficial for society to deal with offenders through a drug court or treatment program.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the largest benefit to treating drug offenders rather than jailing them is economic. It is extremely expensive to keep someone in jail for several years while the cost of treatment may be less than half that cost. The organization also shows that incarcerated women have high rates of mental disorders, substance abuse and additional health problems they may not receive treatment for while in jail, which can exacerbate the problem.

Those who advocate for drug courts believe they are advantageous to society in the following ways:

  • Reduce drug usage as offenders identify the triggers in their behavior and any underlying cause of drug use
  • Reduce crime as treatment makes it less likely that someone will become a repeat offender
  • Save money in the form of healthcare costs and reduced victimization
  • Ensure compliance as most offenders are required to check in with several individuals throughout the treatment process

Overall, the goal of drug courts is to reduce crime rates, save money and restore families who may otherwise be torn apart for years at a time because of a drug crime. Anyone who has been accused of committing a crime may benefit from consulting with a criminal defense attorney.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.