Bill Aims to Help Drug Addict Criminals

Bill Aims to Help Drug Addict Criminals

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Karen Scullin ReportingAnother new bill on Capitol Hill aims to treat criminals for their drug problems before they head to prison.

Think about this, right now 85% of all offenders have a substance abuse problem, but only a third will likely receive treatment. That makes the chance for re-offending fairly high.

The total plan is about seventeen million dollars. It will be phased in over three years and will target all probationers and parolees--and put them in drug treatment. It will also eventually give the judge, during the sentencing phase, the option of sending a defendant through drug treatment

Proponents of this plan say besides saving incarceration money in the long run, it would dramatically cut down on one of the major crime problems in the state---property crime--- since much of that is motivated by drug addiction.

Advocates also say it would help cut down on re-offenders and help many people become good tax-paying citizens in our community. Four other states have successfully implemented this program.

The plan is just in the beginning stages; next it goes before a house committee for consideration.

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