While investigating alternatives for drug offenders, I came across an article called Expanded Road to Recovery project to reduce drug crimes by Charles Hamilton. The article is about how Governor George Pataki and Senate Majority Leader Joseph L Bruno created a plan to clean up the streets of New York. According to Charles Hamilton, the 2.8 million dollar project “is an expansion on the Drug Treatment Alternative to Prison program (DTAP)”. The DTAP is a program that gives drug offenders an alternative rather than sending them to jail and not providing them with the help they need. To understand the DTAP’s goal first you have to understand the term “drug offender.”
To define what a drug offender is a thorough investigation had to be conducted. It turns out although all states have their own definition of drug offenders, many states’ definition of drug offender are closely similar. For example, in the state of New Jersey according to New Jersey Statutes Annotated Title 2C:35B-3 Definitions, drug dealer liability is defined as,
a. “Marketing of controlled dangerous substances” means the illegal distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent to distribute, a specified controlled dangerous substance.
b. “Individual user of controlled dangerous substance” means the individual whose illegal use of a specified controlled dangerous substance is the basis of an action brought under this act.
In other words, in New Jersey there are different definitions of what a drug offender is, one being the drug dealer themselves and another one being the drug abuser.
Another example of a different state’s definition of drug offender is Ohio’s definition. Ohio has four different definitions of what a drug offender is. According to LAWriter Ohio Law and Rules, one of the definitions is “(B) ‘Drug dependent person’ and ‘drug of abuse’.” In other words, in Ohio someone who abuses drugs is indeed a drug offender. Although all states have many different definitions of what a drug offender is, most of the definitions somewhere along the lines include being a drug abuser.
With that being said, the DTAP’s mission is to clean up their streets by preventing drug offenders or drug abusers from falling back to their old life styles. People who choose DTAP as their alterative are less likely to return to prison and are also more likely to be employed. The plan gives drug offenders the opportunity to led their life in a more positive direction.
Hamilton Jr., Charles. “Expanded Road to Recovery Project to Reduce Drug Crimes.” New York Amsterdam News, Nov. 2003. Web. Mar. 2012.