The drug problem in Arizona is something that is hard to deny. A recent report notes that drug charges are the top reason why people are incarcerated in this state. As shocking as it might seem, Arizona has the fifth highest incarceration rate in the entire country.
The shock doesn't stop there. This state spends almost $600,000 per month to keep drug offenders behind bars. This shocking number and issue of drug addiction are the reasons why some people are noting that the state should consider the drug epidemic as a public health issue instead of a criminal matter.
Pima County has a way to reduce the number of people who are behind bars for drug charges through a court-ordered program. This is a unique program that isn't found anywhere else in the state. The Drug Treatment Alternative to Prison uses a three-year drug treatment program for people who are considered nonviolent offenders instead of sending these people to prison.
The program is one that seems to address the underlying problem, which is something that is missing in the criminal justice system as a whole. By helping the person to overcome the addiction, the person is less likely to face drug charges again down the road unless he or she falls back into the addiction and related habits.
Anyone who is facing drug charges here is facing a real risk of being put behind bars if he or she is convicted. Instead of sitting back and accepting that fact, these individuals can learn about the ways they might fight back against the charges.
Source: KVOA, "Report: Arizona spends nearly $600k a day to lock up drug offenders," Aalia Shaheed, Aug. 29, 2017