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Treatment Key to Fighting Drugs

NCJ Number
Journal of State Government Volume: 63 Issue: 2 Dated: special issue (April-June 1990) Pages: 35-36
S Lundine
Date Published
2 pages
By offering treatment to drug abusers in prisons, New York State is tackling the crime at its roots and making some progress in the war on drugs.
The drug crisis has overloaded New York's prisons, courts, and parole and probation systems. Since 1980, the number of drug offenders in prisons has risen by 637 percent. Almost 1 of every 3 persons incarcerated was arrested on drug charges, and 8 of 10 persons arrested on felony charges in New York City tested positive for drugs. The Omnibus Criminal Justice Bill of 1989 provided for 2,000 new beds in prison drug treatment annexes. Many inmates, however, belong in community-based drug treatment programs, and the State would save by investing more in such programs than in prison programs. New York plans to expand its intensive supervision program for parolees and probationers who have histories of drug abuse. By increasing drug testing and training parole and probation officers in drug counseling, the State hopes to relieve the correctional system and help addicted offenders keep free from drug abuse. The State also plans to offer an incentive program to help counties establish treatment programs for those convicted of crimes. Drug treatment will be greatly expanded by the $1.4 billion antidrug effort for 1991. The proposed budget will quadruple residential drug treatment capacity over the next 5 years, bringing the State's total capacity to 20,000 beds. Studies show that drug treatment reduces criminal activity and that vocational training, counseling, and education are crucial to treatment success.


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