Federal Laws Need Amendment to Prevent Incarceration of Addicts

Addiction is not a crime but a disease which needs treatment, compassion, and unbridled support, rather than just incarceration, which only exacerbates the predicament. Amendment to some laws can help the cause of addicts languishing in prisons. The need of the hour is a volte-face in terms of reforms and federal laws to alleviate the pain of sentencing for drug-related crimes and to provide the offenders a chance to mend their ways.

Addicts are not criminals

Denouncing addicts as criminals hampers their chance to reform and pushes them further into the quagmire of addiction and relapse. The average federal prison is overcrowded by 36 percent, only because of this approach. The federal prison system in 2013 had a capacity of 132,221 inmates, yet it was crammed with 176,484 inmates that year.

The situation is worse in correctional homes, where inmates are always 50 percent over the rated capacity at any given point. It is high time federal laws are amended to preclude such possibilities in the future.

Unfavorable drug laws preying on addicts

Today, drug laws are harsher than what they were before 1986. Prison time for drug offenders is higher than earlier, which further alienates them from the society as they end up sulking with many grievances. In 2013, an average sentence for drug offenders was 11 years. Such harsh sentences not only affect the addicts but also eat into the state funds. The government incurs a cost of $79 per day on each inmate. Reports say that more people are put behind bars for drug-related offenses than other crimes.

There is also an incongruity in handing out sentences. For example, the Controlled Substances Act delivers a minimum of a five-year sentence for the possession of 28 grams of crack cocaine. However, to attract the same sentence, one has to possess 500 grams of powdered cocaine. But the impact from drugs, in whatever form, is the same.

Support and help for addicts

Treatment for drug addiction is long and grueling, depending on the extent and gravity of addiction. Recovering addicts need support and encouragement from the people around to beat addiction. Conducive federal laws can definitely help addicts go sober and stay away from crimes triggered by their addiction.

Reducing harsh sentences for drug and non-violent crimes will not only encourage addicts to relinquish any harmful habits but also prod them to seek treatment voluntarily. Researches have predicted that increasing serving time has not helped public safety in any way. First-time offenders can always be given a chance to mend their ways. Building trust is core to the rehabilitation of these addicts and more and more people will come within the ambit of treatment programs.

Even police chiefs are of the view that reducing incarceration time will impact directly the graph of the drug crime and pave the way for a favorable drug-free environment in the society. Laws should make provisions for more and more treatment centers in the country so that nobody is left out.

Moreover, economic benefits accrued from shorter jail time of drug offenders can be used for making treatment cheaper and affordable for all. The country already has some world-class treatment centers where people can easily go for detoxification. The detox centers in California are among the best in the country.

If a loved one is grappling with any addiction, and you are looking for a natural detox center in California, call our 24/7 helpline number at 855–682–0103 for immediate assistance. The Sovereign Health Group specializes in treating addictions and mental health disorders with centers spanning across the country. With tailor-made treatment interventions for individual cases, our members are experts in the field of addiction treatment and mental health disorders.

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