Law Enforcement Officers Advocate for Treatment Rather Than Prison Sentences

By Staff Writer

Due to the growing problem of addiction to methamphetamine, law enforcement officials across the country are advocating for the use of addiction treatment programs to deal with individuals convicted of nonviolent crimes, rather than lengthy prison sentences.

State and local prisons in many areas are filling up with meth addicts. The cost of holding these individuals and providing for their medical needs is adding significant burden to law enforcement budgets in one Midwestern state, according to local CBS affiliate WTHI.

Court officials told the news source that the expense of incarceration of meth addicts has cost state taxpayers millions of dollars. However, sending them to addiction treatment centers may produce better results at lower cost.

The sheriff of one prison said that the best rehab facilities charge a third of the cost of putting an addict in prison.

States in other parts of the country have initiated addiction treatment programs for individuals who have been convicted of nonviolent drug offenses, and court officers have reported promising results, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.