Incarceration vs. Rehabilitation

Addiction treatment and rehabilitation methods have been hotly debated over the years and recent research has emerged that have greatly improved practices and progress in treating addiction as a health issue.  However, some practices are in direct conflict with what others consider proper care.

With rising opioid use across the country, there are those who would argue that in-jail treatment offers the best solution.

Inimai Chettiar and Grainne Dunne of the NYU School of Law respond to this argument, stating “We should certainly improve treatment in jails. But by focusing on building drug treatment infrastructure inside the criminal justice system, we further institutionalize its placement there. This reinforces the belief that people battling addiction deserve punishment — undoing years of progress to understand addiction as a health issue.”

Even improving treatment within the justice system could not be enough to rehabilitate those struggling with addiction.  The consequences, stigmas, and stereotypes that accompany someone who has gone through the justice system are often too difficult to overcome and while they may receive some medical or therapeutic treatment, rehabilitation includes being accepted back into society and that often cannot occur.

Treatment should be given in the appropriate environment, facilities that are designed for rehabilitation, not punishment.