Among other penalties, jail time is often the legal consequence when someone is convicted of a drug crime — even simple possession.
But is that really wise? Is it time to start looking harder at the idea that jail time is appropriate for drug crimes? The majority of people imprisoned for drug crimes are actually addicts themselves. Does imprisonment have the impact that the authorities believe it has? Or are they missing the mark?
Why isn’t jail the best answer for many drug crimes?
The argument has been made that jail time doesn’t help, and programs have been created to focus on rehabilitation. While there are those who refer to prisons as centers to rehabilitate criminals, the truth is that prisons often just serve as holding centers for the convicted to keep allegedly dangerous individuals out of the general population. The threat of prison — or a return to prison — is supposed to be enough to provoke changed behavior.
However, a deterrent makes no difference if you’re already facing charges and are addicted to drugs. You’re certainly not dangerous to others. Jail time won’t rehabilitate you or solve any issues with addiction. What can actually help is going through a medical treatment program that shows you how to overcome that addiction and gives you the resources to do so.
What are your options after you’ve been charged with a drug crime?
Drug charges are very serious, but there are solutions that may keep you out of jail and put you on a better path. You can move forward from this, and understanding the options you have is just one way for you to work to protect your future. Our experienced criminal defense firm can help.