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Expanding Access to Addiction Treatment As a Crime Reduction Strategy

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Many drugs can be criminogenic, either because they increase impulsiveness and aggressiveness when consumed, or because they increase crimes intended to provide money for the drugs, such as theft, prostitution, and drug dealing.

The majority of people who are incarcerated have a substance use disorder, and many were under the influence when they committed the crimes for which they were sentenced.

Addiction treatment provided in prison without follow-up care upon release does not generally produce significant or enduring benefits.




Crime reduction strategies often focus solely on policing and incarceration, but expansion of addiction treatment within the criminal justice system and the community deserves consideration as another approach to protecting public safety and improving health.

Key Policy Evidence: