Changes To The Criminal Justice System Could Help Alcoholics

From: Peggy
A few weeks ago, Secretary Eric Holder suggested major changes in the criminal justice system, in a effort to reduce the prison population. The idea is to send offenders to rehab rather than to prison. This saves the Federal Government over 10 BILLION DOLLARS a year. And, it gives offenders TRUE rehabilitation, something that gives both them and society a better chance at success.

I am the mother of a 25 year old son who is about to go to prison in Illinois. My alcoholic son has 3 DUI’s and one possession charge. He was in rehab and doing fabulously well until he learned of his prison sentence. He checked out of rehab and went right back to drinking.

My hope is that Illinois, as well as all states follow Eric Holder’s prison release to rehab direction, and am hopeful this forum can start the ball rolling.

It is the only hope for my son, and maybe lots of other sons and daughters. We punish a disease…isn’t it time we start treating it?

Please feel free to leave a comment below. Do you think it would be a good idea for the criminal justice department to help alcoholics and drug addict criminals through sending them to rehab rather than prison?

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8 comments to Changes To The Criminal Justice System Could Help Alcoholics

  • worried sister

    I totally agree my brother had 3 dui and they put him in jail. He came out of jail and state drinking heavily He was ordered to treatment which he is outpatient but the court wants inpatient. The rehab facility cannot put him in the status of inpatient due to the medication he is on but he is getting the help he needs. His probation officer told him he violate his probation because he was a outpatient not i.patient and now they are threatening more jail time. That is insane my brother needs help not more punishment

  • worried sister

    I forgot to add this is in Florida

  • Sally

    I agree that addicts need rehab, but what to do about the criminal acts they commit that sends them into the justice system? Addicts can’t be given a free pass or placed on probation every time they screw up. There has to be punishment for the crime(s) committed. The people addicts injure or steal from or assault deserve to know that the addicts will be punished for their crimes.

    From a personal standpoint, having lost too many friends and relatives to drunken driving, anyone who gets arrested for DUI should lose their license for at least a year for the first offense along with mandatory rehab. If they screw up again, prison time. DUI is nothing less than indiscriminate attempted murder.

  • Pez

    I think this is a great idea. They can treat the crime and the alcoholism separately.

  • emma

    Hi everyone, i live in Ireland . my husband has over 11 convictions for drunk and disordly lost his licence twice and still has not gone to prison. He’s currently on probation for breaking good behaviour order and back in court next week and STILL has never been punished or sent to treatment. now thats insane sure why would he want to change if he gets away with it. Hes basically told be a good boy grow up ,pay a fine and goodbye. I do believe punishment helps . He still drives with no licence and if he has a crash its the courts fault as they are clearly doing nothing about him. They have a responsibility to the rest of the people in this county and its being ignored. Whats the point of sending someone to treatment if they are not ready to seek help. Alcoholics or members of their family need to WANT to change themselves otherwise its pointless. I am a grateful member of AL ANON. Yes its a disease but in Ireland its not spoken off and this country is fuelled by drink. Men esp find it hard to change as there is a stigma attached to men who dont drink and not seen as men. Now thats insane, If you dont drink no-one wants to know you. I believe awareness is the key to the general public. Thankfully my daughter is 11 and they are being thought in school the dangers of alcohol. I do hope your son gets better I will say a prayer for him and for you. Let go and Let god, Emma

  • Debbi

    I’m hoping for more drastic change. I want all laws changed that any time the authorities are called for traffic violations, accidents, etc, mandatory that all parties get breath test and if ANY alcohol involved automatic loss of license for one year & loss of ability for insurance or registration until proven Rehab & penalties to restore license. So many times the A’s get pulled over for minor offenses and only 1 out of 10 times do even police officers recognize that the parties were under the influence. Let’s stop allowing A’s to use 1 ton weapons able to go high speeds to destroy any more lives. 2 recent deaths in my area: one lady coming back from her bridge club struck and killed a 14 year old on his bicycle and got off all charges but later they realized she had drank at her meeting before driving. Officer should have conducted a test immediately. 2nd one the man chased after a 15 year old who had vandalized his home, hit him, drug him over 300 feet and got off and even police report the man stated he was in his home prior to event drinking. I am so tired of hearing these stories, make everyone agree to a breath test whenever they are pulled over for any reason. This way we get them into rehab possibly with the first offense!

  • I think while in jail, there should be rehab. I think jail gives them the reality check, but whats the point without some rehab program. I feel when they come out they should be held to a 2nd rehab continuation where they go to meetings and continue to seek help to keep from falling back into old patterns. I have a friend who has had 2 DUI’s, no jail time, was ordered to attend AA meetings. Did all this, stayed sober for 1.5 years and then back to old ways. I wonder if he would have had some jail time with rehab, if her would have impacted him more?

  • Tracy


    I am Scottish so I know what its like in Ireland the same in Scotland. If you don’t go out to get drunk people think you are not right in the head. I hear young people say lets go out to get steaming (drunk). Sad so sad. On the news earlier they were talking about the problems of alcoholism in Scotland, more money is being spent by hospitals dealing with drunks than anything else. Educate young people. Also the government makes too much money from taxes from alcohol. X

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