By Mike Reagan, president, Association of Substance Use, Conditions, Prevention and Treatment Providers Organization (ALSAO), March 2010

From the testimony:

“The tragedy is that we know how to stop spinning this costly and inhumane revolving door. It starts with acknowledging the fact that addiction is a disease for which evidence-based prevention and treatment programs exist and that these programs can be administered effectively through the criminal justice system. Providing treatment and training to inmates and employing treatment based alternatives to incarceration through drug courts or prosecutors both saves taxpayer dollars and reduces crime (CASA 2010).”

If all inmates with substance use disorders who are not receiving treatment were provided evidence-based treatment and aftercare, we would break even on this investment in one year if just over 10 percent of those receiving such services remained substance and crime free and employed. For each succeeding year that these inmates remained substance and crime free and employed, the nation would reap an economic benefit of $90,953 per inmate in reduced crime, lower arrest, prosecution, incarceration and health care costs, and economic benefits from employment. (CASA 2010)