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SUPPORT SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT and DIVERSION
We should strongly consider putting NONVIOLENT drug offenders in appropriate treatment facilities instead of incarcerating them. This will actually reduce drug use, reduce crime and SAVE CONNECTICUT MONEY…A lot of money!
REDUCING DRUG USE:
- A 1997 Rand Corporation Study showed that substance abuse treatment is SEVEN times more effective than incarceration in reducing drug use.
- According to the Department of Corrections, 80% of inmate have substance abuse problems and only 12% get any kind of substance abuse treatment.
- According to a 1997 National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study, with treatment drug selling is decreased by 78%, shoplifting by 82% and assaults by 78%.
- Diversion of non-violent offenders passed by voters’ initiatives in Arizona and California. In their first year, Arizona diverted 551 inmates and saved $2.5 million. In 1999 they saved $6 to 7 million.
- California is projected to save $1.5 billion dollars over five years from their diversion program. In their first year they diverted 9, 334 people. Their prison population decreased by 4,101 after the first year of the program.
- Incarceration is expensive; incarceration costs $18, 000 per inmate MORE than treatment programs. Connecticut has 18,873 people incarcerated – 500 are in Virginia (federal) prisons and 692 are juveniles.
- A 2001 study by the CT Center for Economic Analysis at UConn found that passing legislation that diverts first and second time nonviolent drug offenders to treatment would lead to significant increase in jobs, personal income, state tax revenue and local tax revenues. Such diversion would also save taxpayers $5,000 per nonviolent offender in crime savings, $7,300 in reduced arrest and prosecution costs and $4,800 in health care costs.
In 1990, 40% of people under the control of the Department of Corrections were in community supervision. If today, 40% were in community supervision, Connecticut would save $150 million ANNUALLY in DOC costs alone!
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