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Friday, February 26, 2010

Would crime go down if more inmates got drug treatment?

About 64 percent of U.S. inmates have a disorder that involves alcohol or drugs, a new study says.

The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, based at Columbia University, says that only 11 percent of those who have these problems actually get any counseling or rehab while they're behind bars. They argue that America could save more money in the long term if they widely expanded programs to help convicts get clean. (Because a lot of their crimes involved drugs or alcohol.) Snip from the press release:

The report found that if all inmates who needed treatment and aftercare received such services, the nation would break even in a year if just over 10 percent remained substance and crime free and employed. Thereafter, for each inmate who remained sober, employed and crime free the nation would reap an economic benefit of $90,953 per year.

Here's a PDF of the whole report.


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