The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Alejandra Tapia’s argument that judges cannot lengthen prison sentences in order to get inmates into drug rehabilitation programs.
Tapia’s original 51-month sentence was longer than it needed to be, but the trial judge noted that this duration punishment was long enough to make Tapia eligible to receive drug treatment programs while in federal prison.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that this sentencing was in violation of sentencing reform laws passed by Congress which stated that the only purposes of imprisonment can be “retribution, public protection and deterrence.”
The Supreme Court also said in its majority decision that “What Congress said was that when sentencing an offender to prison, the court shall consider all the purposes of punishment except rehabilitation, because imprisonment is not an appropriate means of pursuing that goal.”
This cases points up the fact that too much emphasis and budget is placed on incarceration and punishment of drug offenders, and not enough focus is placed on rehabilitation. It is a known fact that imprisonment does not result in rehabilitation of drug offenders, to the point where this fact is found in our very own national law books. And yet spending on the “war on drugs” continues to climb with no commensurate effort to improve the quality and quantity of long term rehabilitation and care for people with chemical dependency.
The solution to the drug problem in Texas lies in effective rehabilitation and educational measures. Texas drug rehabs need to become more effective in treating addicts, and more facilities using proven rehabilitation programs need to become available.
As long as someone has a chemical dependence, there is no law or “deterrence” that will keep them from getting their fix. The only real drug abuse solution is to help them to end addiction.
If you or someone you know needs help with drugs, our drug rehabilitation program is the answer. Call our admissions staff now at 1-877-862-4326.