American Inmate Population Continues to Grow

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Effective drug rehabilitation programs offer help for non-violent drug offenders

There are now more than 2.1 million people behind bars in the United States according to the Department of Justice, which is an increase of more than 400 percent over the last 25 years. According to The Sentencing Project the number of arrests for drug offenses rose from 580,000 in 1980 to over 1.5 million in the year 2000.

Sixty percent of the growth in the federal prison population over the last twenty years has been due to drug offender commitments, and approximately 80 percent of inmates have substance abuse issues, according to sources such as the Sentencing Project and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Many states are continuing to review and revise their sentencing laws for nonviolent drug offenders to curb the costs of the nation’s fastest growing population segment. While limiting the number of new inmates with drug addiction treatment alternatives is a positive step, there are still hundreds of thousands that need rehabilitation within the walls of the prisons.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics cites that only 10-15 percent of inmates with drug problems actually receive some form of treatment while incarcerated.

A recent study released by the Substance Abuse Policy Research Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examined addiction treatment practices and outcomes in Connecticut prisons. The study found that recidivism rates are greatly reduced when inmates receive some form of rehabilitation services during their prison sentences.

The cost to re-incarcerate offenders (at well over $20,000 per year) is much higher than it is to provide drug treatment services in the prisons or to divert offenders to inpatient drug rehabilitation programs. It cost Americans $25.96 billion to imprison 1.3 million non-violent offenders in the year 2000, meaning our nation spent 50% more than the entire $16.6 billion the federal government spent on welfare programs to serve 8.5 million people.

One organization that is continually producing long-term results throughout the world for rehabilitating nonviolent alcohol and other drug offenders is the Narconon® Drug Rehabilitation and Education Program.

Narconon Arrowhead is the largest center in the international network, producing a phenomenal success rate for rehabilitating addicts using the effective drug-free methodology developed by American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard.

Narconon literally means "narcotics-none" and was founded by a former heroin addict named William Benitez in Arizona State Prison in 1966. Thirty-nine years later, Narconon is still considered a new, proven approach to successfully ending drug addiction.

The program consists of communication and confrontation exercises, sauna detoxification to rid the body of the old drug residues and a series of courses that empower former addicts through learning life skills to raise their responsibility for themselves and others to become productive members of society.

The overwhelming issue of substance abuse affects nearly every individual in one way or another. If you would like to seek help for a loved or are interested in learning more about the program, contact Narconon Arrowhead today by calling 1-800-468-6933 or log on to


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Luke Catton
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