By Staff Writer
In many states, efforts to deal with addiction have led to severe sentences for individuals found to be in the possession of illegal substances. However, these laws often send to prison addicts who are merely symptoms of a larger problem. This leads to overcrowding of jails and doesn’t do much to address the underlying problem.
As part of an effort to tackle this issue, lawmakers in Georgia recently announced that they are forming a commission to study ways the criminal justice system could be reformed, according to the Associated Press.
State representatives said that they believe helping addicts enter drug rehab programs is more productive than sending them to jail. This allows individuals to beat their dependency with less cost to the taxpayer.
“The cost is too high. The recidivism rates are too high and rehabilitation is too rare,” Governor Nathan Deal said in reference to the current system, according to the news source. “The math simply does not work.”
The majority of inmates at federal prisons were convicted for drug-related crimes, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.