This is one of the best pieces of legislation any state could enact! Read, at least, my one page summary!
12/13/16 update: This Bill has been in the hands of Delaware lawmakers for years. The AG, the Governor, and others fret and talk about the woefully out of control flood of illegal drugs, and the answer is right in front of their noses! Demand ACTION!
This thorough, comprehensive bill (The Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation Act), patterned after California’s, is to be introduced in Delaware soon.
It is the best thing that could happen to the criminal justice system in the near future!
Support it, and send it to legislators in your state for enactment!
The Delaware Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation Act
(one page summary by KRA)
As a former prosecutor, and having been heavily immersed in the criminal justice system for the past 7 years, from all angles, I say this is BY FAR the best thing that could happen in Delaware in the near future!
- It treats mental illness and addiction as health problems (not crimes), which they are.
- It diverts appropriate defendants to local Service Centers, for truly comprehensive treatment and support and genuine rehabilitation, under the auspices of the Department of Health, instead of prison. Defendants are on DOC probationary status; their progress is Court monitored.
- This Act, patterned after one in California which has worked well for 15 years, and the Federal Second Chance Act, will save the State of Delaware at least about $100 million annually (based on current expenditures and Dr. McDowell’s very thorough cost estimates), and far more than that as we see recidivism rates (now at 75+%) plummet.
- It ends mandatory minimum sentences (which most judges now recognize do not achieve their intended purposes!) for non violent drug offenders. (with prudent exceptions).
- It treats those arrested, those currently incarcerated, and others (general public) seeking treatment.
- It will make a tremendous impact in reducing recidivism, thus incalculably improving individuals’ lives and the communities into which approximately 20,000 inmates are now released annually. Long term monetary savings easily reach the billions of $$$.
- It provides that once a defendant successfully completes the individually tailored, court ordered treatment program, his/her record is expunged (with appropriate exceptions), and his/her fines are waived, thus immensely improving the person’s chances of becoming a productive member of society.
- I’m tellin’ ya, the whole thing makes sense! Here we will see many employed, tax-paying citizens, instead of prisoners needlessly costing us at least $36,000.00 per person per year.
- It creates an oversight and monitoring coalition of Courts, State Agencies, and the University of Delaware, to evaluate progress, track costs and effectiveness, and to make recommendations for improvements.
- Given the indisputable statistical truth that approximately 85% of ALL CRIME IS DRUG RELATED, it will, of necessity, greatly reduce crime and its costs (medical, insurance, losses, police and court processing, etc,).
- Better still, it will reduce and alleviate immensely the personal toll of crime: victims’ pain, anguish and distress, the families torn apart (kids growing up without one or both parents because they are in jail due to addiction!). Truly, we cannot put a price on this certain big benefit.
The Act is remarkably thorough, detailed, sensible, and comprehensive. And remarkably important to improving Delaware.
YOU MUST READ IT.
THE ACT WILL DO ALL OF THIS AT 1⁄4 OF THE COST OF ONE YEAR’S IMPRISONMENT;
TREATMENT. TREATMENT UNDER THIS ACT = $9.000.00 PRISON = 36.000.00
IT IS YOUR MONEY, IT IS YOUR GOVERNMENT, IT IS YOUR LIVES AFFECTED BY CRIME: MAKE IT HAPPEN!