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More Addiction Help On the Way for Californians

Addiction help will soon be available to even more non-violent offenders in California, thanks to Prop 5, the Non-Violent Offenders Rehabilitation Act, aka NORA . It’s currently costing California $46,000 a year to house an inmate. With recidivism rates being what they are, chances are most of those inmates are going back to a life of drugs, and crime, and back to prison at some time in the future. However, if that same money, and chances are it would cost less per person, is spent on getting them off drugs, there’s a good chance the state won’t have to spend any more money on them until they turn 65.

Sounds like a smart move to me. And, after all, drugs are usually what got them in trouble in the first place. Why not address the source of the problem rather than the symptom?

I hope other states follow California’s lead. The U.S. currently has about one out of every hundred of its citizens in jail. And much of it is for non-violent drug offenders. It’s costing taxpayers a bundle.

I think it would also be a good idea for the treatment costs to actually be a loan – to be paid back after treatment, even if it has to be in very small payments. That way, the addiction help services will have more value to the indivdual who got the help. 

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