Definition of a Drug Offender
It was not until recently; I became aware that “drug offenders” are given an alternative rather then jail time. As I was reading I came across an article called Expanded Road to Recovery project to reduce drug crimes by Charles Hamilton. The article was about how Governor George Pataki and Senate Majority Leader Joseph L Bruno created a plan to clean up the streets ofNew 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, we first need to agree what we mean by the term “Drug Offender.”
Although it turns out that all states have their own definition of drug offenders, many states’ definition of drug offender are closely similar. According to many state statues, a drug offender can be defined as any one who distributes, processes, or is dependant on a drug. When Governor George Pataki and Senate Majority Leader Joseph L Bruno spoke about “Drug Offenders” in the article, they meant people who are dependant on a drug. These people are also known as drug abusers or people who abuse drugs. For example, in the state ofNew Jerseyaccording 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, inNew Jerseythere 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 isOhio’s definition.Ohiohas 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’.” In other words, inOhiosomeone 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. The DTAP only help drug abusers or people who need medical help with drugs because other drug offenders such as drug dealers do not need help with drugs. When drug abusers fall back into their old life styles, they give drug dealers the ability to stay in business. Governor George Pataki and Senate Joseph L Bruno hope that by cleaning up drug abusers they will put drug dealers out of business, reduce crime and reduce the money taxpayers spend on putting drug offenders away. 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 lead 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.