Addict (drugaddict) wrote,

Drug Treatment Is Cheaper Than Prisons (1 Letter)

Drug Treatment Is Cheaper Than Prisons (1 Letter)

To the Editor:

Re “Spitzer Seeks Way to Find State Prisons He Can Close” (news article, Feb. 5):

Considering the substantial economic and political forces in opposition to closing prisons, Gov. Eliot Spitzer could look in a different direction to rein in high costs.

A substantial number of inmates are locked up for nonviolent, drug-related crimes. They are low-level drug addicts whose behaviors are not considered criminal in many countries.

Treating addiction as a mental illness would allow the governor to redefine who is a criminal, enabling us to treat addicts in their community at much less cost.

Howard Josepher
New York, Feb. 5, 2007
The writer is the founder and executive director of Exponents, a nonprofit organization helping people with drug problems and H.I.V.-AIDS.

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