Rehabilitation vs Incarceration

Topics: Drug addiction, Addiction, Heroin Pages: 4 (1515 words) Published: January 14, 2012
Rehabilitation versus Incarceration
Lee Tergeson, actor from the television show OZ said, “I know what it is like to be ignored, and I think that is the big problem about the prison system: These people are being thrown away. There is no sense of rehabilitation. In some places, they are trying to do things. But, in most cases, it is a holding cell.” (Tergeson, 2002) He speaks the truth. Those incarcerated today are not given the chance to change their behavior patterns, especially when it is in regard to drug addiction. The criminal justice system in general does not consider drug abuse as anything but a crime and does not think about treating the disease of addiction in order to reduce or eliminate the crimes that come as a result. Drug rehabilitation is a valid alternative to incarceration that may help alleviate or even solve the problem of jail and prison overcrowding. If you could cure a disease in less time and have it cost less than just merely treating the symptoms, what would you choose to do? Most non-violent crimes, such as thefts and burglaries, are committed by drug addicts to pay for their drug habit. By eliminating the reason behind the crime, the need to commit the crime will be eliminated; in some cases drug-related crimes were reduced by 51% (Popper, 2002). Drug treatment gets to the root cause of the crime. Treatment not only benefits the addict, it also gives them the opportunity to learn life skills and how to cope without the use of drugs, which will in turn help them to avoid making the same poor choices. Drug treatment is more than just stopping the drug use; it helps change behaviors and attitudes toward drugs and life. Without this major component, there is a larger chance of failure. Rehabilitation programs are a viable option for some offenders and judges alike. There are courts in this country that do not consider first-time, or even second- time offenders on the same level of criminal as a more violent offender. As a...

References: The charm of rehab. (2006). Economist, 379(8474), p. 30.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2009, September). Retrieved from (n.d.). Retrieved from
Popper, M. (2002). The payoff from drug rehab. BusinessWeek, p. 28.
Tergeson, L. (2002, January 18). GAywatch: Interview with "Oz" star Lee Tergeson. (C. Chanpagne, Interviewer)
The Monitor 's Editorial Board. (2008, October 20). One way to cut prison costs. Retrieved 2011, from
Woodard, L. (2009). Retrieved from
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Rehabilitation vs. Incarceration Essay
  • Incarceration or Rehabilitation Essay
  • Drug Court vs. Incarceration Essay
  • Punishment vs Rehabilitation Essay
  • Punishment vs Rehabilitation Essay
  • Juvenile Rehabilitation: Adult Prison vs. Juvenile Incarceration Essay
  • Rehabilitation in Prison and the Disparity Between Rehabilitation and Incarceration Rates Essay
  • Prison vs Rehabilitation Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free