Corrections Commissioner says drug addicts huge problems
August 25, 2006
Albany -- The Commissioner of Georgia's prisons says it is vital to find new ways to help drug addicted offenders, rather than just locking them up.
Corrections Commissioner James Donald says that 80 percent of Georgia's prison inmates are there because they had a drug problem. Donald said in the last five years they have seen a three hundred percent increase in inmates locked up for methamphetamine offenses.
Donald says he believes Georgia prison's need to increase day reporting centers. After a 30 day detox period, the offender reports daily to a center where they are drug tested, and required to get a job. Donald said "Work is a learned behaviour. But if you take them out and lock them up, you pull them away from their family, you pull them away from their religious base, you pull them away from whatever piece of job they had, because they have a drug addiction."
Donald says currently Georgia's prison budget has reached the one billion dollar a year level, to house 55-thousand inmates, but that number is growing everyday.
So Donald says new ideas to deal with drug addicted offenders is vital.