So to be blunt and get straight to the point, addiction is a disease. That being said, recidivism concerning drug addicts should be viewed and treated differently compared to other criminals who re-offend.

If a crime has been committed and the only victims are the person battling addiction and the state, then realistically no actual crime has been committed. My taxes should not have to fund police salaries and the incarceration of non-violent inmates. I should be able to decide that my hard-earned tax dollars go towards rehabilitating addicts, in order to prevent recidivism among those suffering from addiction. Fewer tax dollars should be directed towards police and redirected to fire and rescue, and educational and training programs.

Violent crimes like assault, rape and murder are one thing, but drug possession, sales, petty theft and unpaid fines are a whole different category. I do not believe my (or anyone’s) tax dollars should be wasted to incarcerate the individuals suffering from addiction and those that have committed minor crimes. The main goal should be the prevention of recidivism in general, but especially regarding drug offenders who have committed victimless crimes. If we do not address the problems that surround addiction as well as addiction itself I say good luck finding a place to house the influx of inmates in a state with an overpopulation of inmates, and good luck trying to use tax dollars to cope with the problem instead of finding a legitimate solution.

Alexander Ingram

Winthrop