Essay On Nonviolent Drug Offenders

568 Words 3 Pages
The type of offender that would be affected by my change in criminal justice policy would be nonviolent drug offenders. It's important to note that the nonviolent drug offenders would only be drug users, not dealers. The proposed policy decriminalizes drug use and instead would impose fines and a probationary period for violators. By decriminalizing drug use, real change may occur. Instead of throwing addicts in jail, there will be a greater emphasis on rehabilitation. Because nonviolent drug offenders often fall victim to circumstance, they ought not to be treated like criminals. Many drugs are highly addictive, and people may become addicts with as little as one use. Treating drug users like criminals won't actually solve the root of the problem: drug abuse. Nonviolent drug use offenders make up approximately 46% of inmates who are currently incarcerated1. A policy that affects this population will have a large impact on the criminal justice system.
With almost half of all incarcerated people in prisons being drug offenders, this policy would have a huge impact. It has been found that treatment through rehabilitation is far more effective in stopping recidivism and drug use than traditional prison sentencing2. In Portugal, a similar policy has been enacted since 2001, absolute drug use has declined, as well as drug-related mortalities
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The policy ensures the health of drug users, rather than treating addicts as criminals. Individuals will finally be able to confront the issues of addiction without fear of prosecution. Families will finally see loved ones receive the help they need, without their loved ones being put in jail. The community-at-large will see drug consumption decline and rates of incarceration fall too, while saving money that would usually be used for enforcement and incarceration- which can now go towards

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