Drug Rehabilitation Aids U.S. Budget Crisis

The Bush Administration is restructuring to incorporate a new Treasury Secretary and Economic Advisor in an effort to get the pendulum to swing in the opposite direction. Our country is obviously in an economic "crisis" and changes need to be made. With recognition of this fact, it should be noted that there are strategic plans that can free up substantial sums of money in state and Federal funding as well as make our society better. This includes re-appropriation from the private prisons to facilitate drug courts with proven efficacy and effective drug rehabilitation.
The Sentencing Project by the Justice Policy Institute reported in 2000 that with mass releases of prisoners in Russia, the United States surged ahead to have the highest incarceration rate in the world. With 2,071,686 persons incarcerated in 2000, the United States, with just 5% of the world's population, has roughly a quarter of the world's prisoners.
Along with these hefty numbers comes big bills. It cost Americans $25.96 billion to imprison 1.3 million non-violent offenders in the year 2000, meaning our nation spent 50% more than the entire $16.6 billion the federal government spent on welfare programs that serve 8.5 million people. What are the results of this spending other than bigger and more prisons and jails with an ever-increasing budget demand? What types of crimes are the offenders being convicted of?
Sixty percent of the growth in the federal prison population over the last twenty years has been due to drug offender commitments. In states like Oklahoma, where 43 percent of offenders in 2001 were convicted of drug and alcohol crimes and have one of the highest prison populations per capita, the department of corrections is seeking more funding while the state is having to make budget cuts across the board. The actual number of crimes that arose from the use of drugs or alcohol and land individuals in prison are more in the range of 80%, which is a staggering number.
With an average cost of $20,000 or more per inmate per year, multiple-year sentences add up, but with rehabilitation in the fullest sense of the word, that money can be spent on improving our nation's healthcare and education. Effective drug and alcohol rehabilitation may cost as much as one year of incarceration, but the outcome is much greater. Instead of having high recidivism rates, such as those "rehabilitated" by the prison system, rehabilitation culminates into a productive, taxpaying member of society again who is contributing instead of being a burden. One such program that is continually producing effective results throughout the world is the Narconon® Program.
Narconon literally means "narcotics-none" and was founded by a former heroin addict named William Benitez in Arizona State Prison in 1966. 36 years later, Narconon is still considered a new, proven approach to ending addiction through the drug rehabilitation methodology of L. Ron Hubbard. This program is totally drug-free and it consists of communication and confront exercises, sauna detoxification to rid the body of the old drug residues and a series of courses that empower former addicts through cognitive life skills therapy. The practical workability of the Narconon(r) Program's social education model continually achieves extremely high success rates for helping individuals to overcome their addiction and become happy, ethical and productive members of society while remaining stably drug-free.

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