Monday, November 9, 2009

Prison System Overhaul

I'm a strong believer of an overhaul of our country's prison system. It seems to me that our prisons and jails are overcrowded with non violent inmates that can rehabilitated. Many of them are drug addicts. Our war against drugs is dysfunctional. As long as there is a demand, there will always be a supply. So why feed into this? We need to take the demand away. We need to focus on rehabilitation and prevention. Studies have shown that it is cheaper and more cost effective to rehabilitate than it is just lock them up for their crimes. We Americans as a society need to stop thinking of this "just lock 'em up'" mentality and start thinking outside of the box. Some of these "prisoners" could use a second lease in life.

The state of California has already started a program that works. I've seen it in the works.

Here is an excellent article on the subject. Check it out, please.


OrbsCorbs said...

I agree that treatment is often more appropriate and effective than punishment. A large part of the issue is reflected, I believe, in this sentence from the article: "Many states have yet to impose effective systems for evaluating programs, a crucial issue in a field where success is relative and relapses inevitable."

The relativity of that "success" rate and the question of how "inevitable" is relapse put most people off. Over the years, first the insurance industry (they paid for it), and then the public, became wary of "treatment programs" that churned out people who relapsed over and over and over again. I'd be in some meetings where a participant would talk of being in treatment more than a dozen times. I went through it twice. I think there is a big credibility problem with the "treatment industry."

We also have a deep Puritanical streak that demands that wrong be punished. Addiction is viewed as wrong, so it must be punished.

drewzepmeister said...

That's true, Orbs. Addiction does not discriminate. It plagues everybody-all of mankind. The bottom line is that a person has to WANT treatment. If he/she doesn't want it, its not going to happen-no matter what anybody says. I think treat at least should be offered.

kkdither said...

Jim Doyle stated he was for medical marijuana use in Wisconsin. California, where medical use has been in effect is looking at decriminalizing it's use.

We are such hypocrits. We allow tobacco and alcohol.... shoot, we subsidize it, using tax dollars. Doctors prescribe oxycodone and much stronger drugs; some of them dispense it like candy. We then put someone in jail, pay for their incarceration, clog up the court systems for possession of a doobie. Makes no sense to me. Oh wait, I did see reefer madness. I guess it is mandatory to go on to use Heroin if you smoke a joint... geech.

We encourage black market and street crime by making this illegal. If you are 21, you could go to Walgreens, buy a small quantity of marijuana for personal use, (if that is your drug of choice) and be assured that you are not getting something mixed with something dangerous... How would this be any more harmful than buying liquor? I just don't see it.

racineuncovered said...

I have actually seen people who get violent, kill people and hurt others off alcohol. I have never seen anyone do that smoking pot, and in my time I most people who smoked a joint never went on to other drugs. I have seen others ruin their lives and lives of others off the more hardcore drugs (heroin, pres. drugs) that never smoked pot in their lives.