Image by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is concerned about the number of people being cycled through the court system due to drug charges, often over and over again. The court costs, and the costs of law enforcement and legal assistance, on top of the cost to incarcerate these people (which Gov. Christie says is $49,000 per person per year in New Jersey) are prohibitive – and it’s not working. What’s his solution? The same solution that is sweeping the country with proven success: drug court.
The New Standard in Drug Policy Law Enforcement
Gov. Christie wants all nonviolent drug offenders in New Jersey to be able to receive treatment for their addiction rather than incarceration. Why? When addicts get treatment, they stop breaking laws. Instead, they get jobs, contributing to the work force and to the community by paying taxes. When they are sentenced to jail, they meet more people who help them get deeper into crime and addiction and, when they get out, they are still afflicted with an untreated addiction that will only get them into trouble.
Last month, Christie revealed his new plan at the Rescue Mission of Trenton. He said: “This plan puts basic principles into action — that no life in our society is disposable, that drug addiction is a disease that can and must be treated, and that the biggest obstacle to dealing with addiction is denial. My plan will provide for treatment in a way that motivates addicted offenders to accept the rigors of rehabilitation, even though they may not volunteer for it. By doing so, we are striving to give these individuals the assistance they need to reform recurring habits in order to lead a better life and have a more productive future.”
When addicts get treatment, there is no person who doesn’t benefit. Family members are relieved of the burden of trying to fight their loved one’s addiction and its consequences alone. The community no longer has to foot the bill for uninsured health issues, property and physical damage, or court and legal fees. And of course, the addict himself benefits from a whole new experience and perspective in life when he gets treatment for his disease rather than a punishment for his choices while under the influence.
Choosing Treatment First
More and more states are recognizing the need for drug treatment as opposed to incarceration for nonviolent drug offenders. However, those who recognize the need for treatment need not wait to be told by a judge that rehab is necessary. Call us today to find a drug rehab that can help you fight the disease of drug addiction and make the right choices for your life.