People with drug or alcohol addiction problems are being sent to prison for non-violent crimes rather than rehabilitation centers where their problems would be tackled.
The highest number of arrests in the U.S. last year was for drug abuse violations with 1.5 million arrests. Possession of drugs is a serious criminal charge here in Texas. The punishment for drugs possession can range anywhere from probation to serious prison time. Those with drug problems and are caught with any drugs are typically sentenced to jail versus being sent to a rehabilitation center.
Jail is a place designated to house criminals, not help individuals get better. By placing those with drug addictions in jail, people sometimes leave the jail worse than they came in.
Providing help rather than avoiding the problem would help reduce the amount of repeat offenders and ultimately save tax dollars because the root of the issue would be solved.
More information on help for drug addictions in Amarillo can be found here.