Alternatives to Incarceration for Drug Offenses
Many studies of the American prison system have cited overcrowding as one of our justice system’s biggest challenges. Some studies have cited the imprisonment of non-violent, small-time drug offenders as a major contributor to the overcrowding problem. By taking advantage of alternatives to incarceration, our justice system can avoid needlessly putting minor criminals behind bars and put more resources into remedying other, more serious problems.
Instead of incarceration, many advocacy groups encourage the use of rehabilitation and drug-education programs. In many cases, possession of a controlled substance is a convict’s only criminal conviction. Sometimes these otherwise peaceful people get involved in crime on the other side. A prison sentence can make it much more difficult to find work upon release, which can make it profitable to turn to crime. In addition, some people learn criminal skills behind bars from more serious offenders.
California is one of an increasing number of states to make provisions for medicinal marijuana and to decriminalize the possession of small amounts by people who lack a doctor’s referral. If a patient’s doctor believes marijuana may have therapeutic benefits, California law now prevents such patients from facing criminal penalties for possession. Possession of other, “harder” drugs is still illegal, but rehabilitation programs can be effective at returning drug abusers’ lives to normal.
If you have been charged with a minor drug offense, you deserve the help of an experienced attorney who can work with you to help reduce the charges. Contact the San Jose criminal lawyers of the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C. today at (408) 296-4100.