Why aren’t more people put into drug diversion programs?

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2019 | Drug Charges

Drug diversion programs work.

Putting a defendant in jail for a lengthy sentence over a drug crime is ultimately more expensive and less productive than diversion programs. In fact, if just one out every 10 defendants eligible for diversion programs were put into one of those programs instead of locked behind bars, the country could save $4.8 billion dollars.

In addition, when the government pours money into methods of incarceration, that money is essentially lost. On the other hand, each dollar put into drug treatment is actually an investment that’s estimated to yield $12 worth of eventual benefits.

The “war on drugs” has been a failure from its very inception — largely because law enforcement stubbornly insists on treating everyone involved in the drug trade the same way. Basically, prosecutors don’t like diversion programs because they seem to feel that all drug defendants are alike. There’s a big difference, however, between drug traffickers who are in the trade purely for economic gain, and the individual who ends up manufacturing, transporting or selling drugs in order to support their own drug habit.

Drug diversion programs are not some sort of “cakewalk” alternative to prison. They can uproot a defendant’s life and — in some ways — are more challenging than just doing straight time and then getting out on parole. What diversion programs really offer defendants, however, is far more valuable than just a chance to avoid a criminal conviction. They offer defendants a chance to get clean, beat their addiction and start rebuilding their lives.

Defendants who successfully complete a drug diversion program not only get the benefit of treatment for their addiction, they also get assistance finding housing, jobs and other essentials. By working on the root of the problem — addiction — that led someone to make criminal choices, drug diversion programs don’t just benefit defendants; they benefit society as well.

To learn more about drug diversion programs in Florida cases, talk to an attorney with extensive experience handling drug cases of all sorts. Our attorney is prepared to fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

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