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Alternative Sentencing




Dr. Howard Samuels Outreach Team

 
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"I'm looking for a drug rehab. Are they worth my money?"

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Can I go to drug rehab instead of jail?









Due to the overcrowding in jails and the increasing realization that jail does not help rehabilitate drug addicts, those in legal trouble can be given the option of attending a drug rehab program rather than serving prison time. Drug rehab is more constructive for alcohol or drug related problems because they can attend therapy sessions, have individual time with addiction specialists, and learn how to live a more satisfying life.

It has been shown that prison time is ineffective in improving one's lifestyle or adjusting one's attitude around their addiction. Therefore, drug rehab is the better option to introduce recovery in order to lessen their chances of returning to jail.

If one's drinking and drug use has landed them in front of a judge or in the courtroom, one's lawyer should ask if they could go to rehab instead of jail. Depending on the court system, drug rehab may be a consideration, but specific rules and regulations will be applied when choosing a drug rehab program to attend. When choosing a program, the judge will take into consideration the length of time and intensity of the program. Throughout the rehab process, the judge or legal system will check in on the accused person several times to demonstrate the character and life changes that have been made.

According to the Drug Rehab Center Hotline, jail can in fact lead some deeper into their disease. Since jail removes people from a normal, functioning community, when they eventually do re-enter society, they struggle adjusting, which leads them back to drug and alcohol use. This aspect most likely was a major factor in them using in the first place. If sent to a drug rehab instead of jail, he or she can focus on how to become a functioning member of society and take back control of their lives.

About half of all violent crimes are related to drug and alcohol use. Since these substances present such an inherent part in crimes, many governments are directing criminals to drug rehab centers to rehabilitate them rather than taking up jail space. Guidelines on drug rehab facilities for these criminals differentiate depending on the state's legal system; for example, the length of stay and necessary requirements to be completed for release. All in all, sending a criminal to a drug rehab facility instead of prison may be beneficial for themselves as well as society.

Texas and California have shown that rehabilitation has shown better results for non-violent crime offenders than serving jail time. Texas began imprisoning youth offenders with non-violent crimes for longer period of time, hoping this would decrease their rising amount of youth offenders. California took a different approach by putting their non-violent youth offenders in a rehabilitation center. According to the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice, the results for Texas showed that their stricter incarceration policy was unwarranted and that non-incarcerate alternatives should be considered.










 
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