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Substance Abuse Treatment and Public Policy
The relationship between substance abuse treatment and the use of incarceration is investigated. Sections of this brief include: introduction (executive summary); increases in admissions to substance abuse treatment are associated with reductions in crime; while drug treatment admissions and federal spending on drug treatment increased, violent crime fell; case study -- drug treatment, imprisonment, and public safety in Maryland; increased admissions to drug treatment are associated with reduced incarceration rates; case study -- California -- Proposition 36; substance abuse treatment prior to contact with the justice system yields public safety benefits early on; treatment helps people make the transition from the criminal justice system to the community; drug treatment is more cost-effective than prison or other punitive measures; and recommendations.