Here is the simplification of proposed solutions to identified Drug treatment, Judicial and Prison Reform needs.

By Mark Reed for Congress

Problem identification;
  1. Drug addiction is an epidemic nationwide and in our communities, our children are dying.
  2. Traditional drug treatment centers and programs are failing.
  3. Most parents can not afford drug treatments or go bankrupt trying.
  4. After 18 years of age parents only choice is to evict their children and give them up to the streets or go through a lengthy and costly custodial trial to get their children treatment.
  5. Law enforcement hands are tied.
  6. The judicial system needs an adjustment to handle drug addicts and addiction
  7. The prison system needs an overhaul, for profit prisons add to the problem. Up to 80% of all inmates have a drug problem.
PROPOSED SOLUTIONS SIMPLIFIED FOR QUICK READING:
  1. Create new legislation allowing parents and the courts upon adequate proof of a drug addiction to get a court order for offspring or family member to get mandatory drug rehabilitation-all ages.
  2. Create legislation allowing courts to to offer an alternative to defendants that have a provable drug addiction a new rehabilitation program, a two year or five year program.
  3. Development of a two year program
    1. First year minimum security lockdown with intense mental healthcare and nutritional program.
    2. Second year, Vocational training, continued treatment and nutritional training.
    3. Offered mainly to those under 25 years of age.
  4. Development of a five year program as an alternative to those facing criminal charges (none violent) with jail or prison time:
    1. First year intense mental healthcare with nutritional program, min security lock up.
    2. Second year Vocational training, continued mental healthcare and nutritional training, min security lock up.
    3. Third, fourth and fifth years, Job placement with participating employers who register with program for prevailing wages. State and Federal Tax credits for twice the wages paid.
    4. For participating in Five year program when program and treatment complete, including clean drug testing their arrest record, criminal charges and jail or prison time records will be sealed from the general public allowing participants to fill out all applications with no arrest or criminal record. Only police, courts and DOJ will have access to past records.
    5. One time only participation. No repeats.
    6. Failure of program, original charges will apply with guilty plea
    7. All participants with treatment complete will receive high level acknowledgement. A position with program as “A Warrior Against Drug Addiction” participating with new applicants. With continued as need mental healthcare.
COST FACTORS FOR DRUG ADDICTION:
  1. Up to 80% of all county or state inmates have a drug problem.
  2. County Jail inmates direct cost upwards of $65,000 per year
  3. State prison inmates, min security direct cost upwards of $78,000 per year.
  4. Plus court cost, police, city attorney, district attorney and public defenders.
  5. Cost of revolving door of untreated drug addicts going through court system.
COST SAVINGS:
  1. Stop revolving door.
  2. Cut population in county jail and state prison.
  3. Cut cost of welfare programs.
  4. Cut cost of loss due to criminal activity and policing.
  5. Savings will continue and grow in time.

MOST OF ALL WE WILL BE SAVING FAMILIES, INDIVIDUAL LIVES AND COMMUNITIES.

  1. So far I like your plan and agree with your points except for one. A one time participation/no repeats. I’ve known many addicts, including my father, who got clean and sober via treatment and twelve step. None of them made it the first go around. One rather famous drug counselor I have known for 30 years, whom I won’t name, went through 20+ rehabs before it took. Thank God it did, he is making great progress with youth in recovery today. Counselors have explained to me that the brain neurons/receptors don’t fire correctly once addiction occurs, so 120 days completely drug free, following the detox period is the minimum required for recovery to have a chance. I am glad to see that your plan outlines 2/5 stints. I woild urge you to change the no repeat clause. Addiction comes in all sizes. Prohibition didn’t stop people from making and drinking moonshine. Making drug use illegal has not made it any less engaged in, and plenty of drug use happens inside the jails and prison. Education on what occurs in the body and brain is just as important as educating our youth about health. Treatment is the only hope for an answer to the addiction problem. Mental health institutions need to be made available for the mentally ill. It is a shame we let these poor souls rot in the streets. Regarding cost of living in cities like Los Angeles vs minimum wage… I would like to hear/read your thoughts on that. Also, why can’t we ever get the police to show up when a crime is reported in progress? Can you speak to that as well?

  2. Arax Krahling says:

    Dear Mr. Reed,
    Please explain what you would do about number 7, under your “problem identification”?
    This nation’s incarceration rates are the highest in the world- whether it’s drugs or mental health issues, we need to reform our courts/judges and prisons. How would you tackle reforms of our judicial and specifically prison issues?

    Thank you

  3. Shayna Kasbee says:

    I like that you are addressing this issue. So many politician will not even acknowledge this issue right now. I will be voting for you!

  4. Justin H. says:

    Hi Mark,
    I’m really glad to see a well-designed approach that seems to truly understand the mechanism(s) of addiction. I’ve seen how systematic punishment only drives the individual further down. The most successful models are those which facilitate finding purpose and value in one’s life while re-introducing real world duties/challenges. Seems like you have that in mind. You have my attention!

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