Research Paper

Submitted By Ktcrowe
Words: 2594
Pages: 11

The War on Drugs is a War on Our Perception
A Literature Review of Past and Current History on Rehabilitation
Kaitlyn Crowe
ENG 102A
Lourdes University
May 7, 2014

Abstract: This paper compares the effectiveness of rehabilitation prison. The paper focuses on the methods used in both settings and whether or not it produces beneficial outcomes for the addict population and the rest of the citizens in the United States. Also, this paper brings attention to the children who are most affected by this epidemic which is known as the war on drugs in America. The over incarceration rates in prisons is a growing concern; rehabilitation should be a considerable option to those who commit low stake crimes such as drug possession, driving under the influence, and stealing. This paper argues that rehabilitative treatment is more effective in lowering crime and recidivism than any prison or jail sentence.

With a prison population of America is currently defending the title for largest number of incarcerated individuals in the world, (with the number two contender far behind at..incarcerated). With such a large number of individuals behind bars, the system is overwhelmed, overburdened, and less concerned with general rehabilitation of these incarcerated citizens (yes- prisoners are still people and still United States citizens) than it is with making room for the next round of inmates, which seems never to end. Because of United States mass incarceration rates caused by the misconceptions of rehabilitative effectiveness, it is effecting more citizens than not, the public needs to be more aware of this issues and the criminal justice system needs to establish a fair way of decreasing crime, keeping this country safe, and not wasting any more money.
America has the highest prison population compared to any other country in the world. The United States has given rehabilitation a bad reputation that make it seem less important and effective throughout the past decade due to the mass incarceration problem in prisons. This unsolved problem has distorted the citizen’s perceptions of rehabilitation facilities. Due to statistical data, rehabilitation has been framed as a merry go round process, which means that it is common for addicts to relapse. Adolescents are the ones who are falling through the juvenile systems’ cracks. According to, 22.6 million Americans aged 12 years or older have used an illicit drug within the last month. In the United States substance abuse often goes untreated and this has led to higher crime rates because of the misconception of rehabilitation. If the negative judgments of rehabilitative treatment can be reversed the United States crime, prison, and addict population has a higher chance of decreasing. The United States has been at war with drugs since the 1960’s, which according to Gaudio (2011), a highly involved human rights advocate, stated that before then drug use in America was quite minimal It wasn’t until the late 1960’s when increased exposure to drugs started because of the Vietnam War and the emergence of drug trafficking industries in such countries as Mexico and Colombia. Gaudio also included in his article that drug legislation quickly enacted which implemented mandatory minimum sentences and automatic transfers of juveniles to adult courts (2011, p.213). Juveniles were being trialed as adults and the criminal justice system was not giving these adolescents a second chance to turn their lives around in the right direction. On the contrary, sending adolescent drug users to a rehabilitation center would give the addict the necessary coping mechanisms, therapeutic counseling, medication management, dual diagnosis, and interaction with other addicts whom may share similar struggles or successes. Dual diagnosis is a method that psychologists and doctors use in treatment facilities that is used to treat the symptoms of mental illnesses while also