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Drug Offense Penalties May See Reform

According to Your Houston News, the Texas Department of Corrections admitted 15,931 new prisoners for drug possession in the year 2012 alone. Another 5,300 people in the state were put in prison for selling drugs. About 42% of those convicted of their crimes were nonviolent first-time offenders that had less than a gram of the drug they were handling in their possession.

Because many of the offenders are non-violent and have displayed repeated poor behavior, many political activists say that they should be placed in drug rehabilitation programs, rather than put in prison. This is because it costs Texans about $18,000 per person to incarcerate a person for drug possession. On the contrary, reports show that it only costs about $2,500 per year to put a person in a drug treatment/rehabilitation program.

Some believe that these rehabilitation programs are not only cost-effective, but have a more lasting impact on first-time offenders and encourage them to avoid repeating their behaviors. Sometimes prison time can simply make a person bitter and angry, rather than teaching him and her how to avoid substance addiction and start over.

In fact, one study suggests that about 75% of all criminals simply placed in prison will repeat their crimes. The statistics for repeated crimes are much lower for those who have been in a rehabilitation program. While politicians and activists call for reform, the ultimate decision about drug penalties will rest with the Texas government. If you are currently facing prosecution for a drug crime, then you will want a Texas drug defense attorney on your side. You may be able to argue that a lesser sentence such as drug rehabilitation would be a more effective penalty in your case. Hire a Zendeh Del Law Firm attorney to help you today!