Just read this encouraging article below from todays Guardian online. It seems treating cocaine & heroin addicts for their addiction does reduce crime levels.
Research published today shows that heroin and crack cocaine addicts receiving drug treatment commit fewer crimes to feed their habit.
The Manchester University study, based on data from the police national computer, shows that the number of offences committed by addicts – such as theft – fell by almost half once they had entered drug treatment programmes.
The research results were based on 1,500 heroin and crack cocaine users who had recently been convicted and sentenced to undergo rehabilitation treatment in the community rather than jailed.
The study found that the total number of crimes for which they were charged in the year following the start of treatment fell from 4,381 to 2,348. The biggest category of theft fell from 1,234 to 635. The highest proportion of crimes committed while they were in treatment were for breaching a previous sentence.
Reductions in crime were consistent across the board. Violence more than halved, as did offences of fraud, drug possession and prostitution.
Paul Hayes, of the National Treatment Agency, which funded the study, said: “While this confirms the value of using substitute prescribing … to stabilise drug users, it also shows crime is cut rather than eradicated. This reinforces the need for drug workers to go further and do more to actively get users off drugs and reintegrated into society.”