Drug treatment beats prison for cutting crime and addiction rates
- By: Judy Jones
Treating drug users who commit offences cuts crime rates more effectively than putting them in prison, according to an analysis of research in the United States and in England. Yet provision of drug treatment services is patchy, and treatment centres often have long waiting lists of users wanting help in breaking their habits, says the analysis from the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders in London.
A third of all thefts, burglaries, and street robberies in England and Wales are now drug related, states the report, Drug-driven Crime: a Factual and Statistical Analysis. Urine tests carried out on 839 people arrested in five areas of England (Cambridge, London, Manchester, Nottingham, and Sunderland) showed that nearly two thirds tested positive for one illegal drug and more than a quarter did so for two or more such substances. Arrested drug users interviewed in Brighton and Derby in one recent