Essay on Treatment or Incarceration?

Essay on Treatment or Incarceration?

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There is an epidemic of almost epic proportions in this wonderful nation called the United States. However, this epidemic is not only national; it is worldwide. And because of this epidemic there are other problems in society such as an increase in crime and prison overcrowding. The epidemic is that of Substance Abuse and Addiction. The penal systems of each state house more prisoners due to drug related crimes than any other. The statistics do not lie; they only tell the truth. Treatment instead of incarceration would be beneficial to the addict himself and to society as a whole. Evidence shows treatment would lower the amount of criminal activity due to substance abuse and addiction. Logic shows that if a problem is cured then the consequences of the problem disappear. There are different points of view on the subject of treatment or incarceration for those criminals who are substance abusers. And there are valid points in either argument.
Take the justifiable commonsense argument that a crime is a crime and as such deserves punishment. It is common knowledge that in most every society punishment in the past has always meant incarceration, physical punishment, or even death. In Medieval times there were dungeons in depths of the castle in which those who committed crimes against the crown would be incarcerated and thus punished. In present times offenders are sentenced by judge and jury to incarceration in the overcrowded, highly tension filled prison system.
Crime does in fact need to be addressed in this nation and especially drug related crimes. Statistics by the Office of National Drug Control Policy say that the drug arrests that were made in 1999 alone total over 1.5 million (Schmidt 1). In 2002 the estimated cost of ...

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...n. Uppers Downers and All Arounders. 6th ed. Ed. CNS Publications. Medford, OR: CNS Publications, 2007. Print.
“Investing in Drug Abuse Treatment/ A Discussion of Policy Makers.” (2003) United Nations Drug Control Program. The Office of Drugs and Crime. United Nations. Web. 1 July 2010.
Price, Virginia. “Substance Abuse Treatment continuum in the North Carolina Department of Correction.” North Carolina Medical Journal. 10.1 (2009) 62-65. Web. 1 July 2010.
"Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations | A Research-Based Guide." National Institute on Drug Abuse. National Institutes of Health U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007. Web. 1 Jul 2010.
Schmidt, Guy. “Drug Treatment in the Criminal Justice System” (2001, March). ONDCP Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse. Office of the National Drug Control Policy. Web. 1 July 2001.

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