Causal Essay Revised – Tabitha Corrao

Alternative Prison Programs are more Beneficial than Prison

In 1990, District Attorney Charles J. Hynes created a program called the Drug Treatment Alternative Prison (DTAP). The program was established to help nonviolent drug offenders with their drug addictions. Other than helping drug offenders with their addiction, the program has also reduced crime and is half the cost of an individual being sent to prison. When DTAP participants were compared to a group of individuals who were placed into prison, instead of the DTAP program, evaluations have shown that DTAP participants and graduates were less likely to be rearrested, re-convicted, and replaced back into prison. Making programs like DTAP are more beneficial for an individual than prison (Program).

According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, “participants who completed the program and graduated were 33 percent less likely to be rearrested [when compared to prison comparisons]” (Innovative). In a two-year study fifty-eight percent of prisoners were rearrested in the second year. Only forty-three percent of DTAP participants were rearrested in the second year. DTAP graduates were even less likely to be rearrested with only thirty-nine percent of them being rearrested after completion (Crossing the Bridge, 6). The DTAP program is successful because the DTAP program is about three times longer compared to other residential drug treatments. Unlike most drug treatments, DTAP provides fifteen to twenty-four months of residential drug treatment. The DTAP program is longer because studies have shown the longer a participant stays in treatment; the more likely they maintain being sober (Innovative).

Not only were the DTAP participants less likely to be rearrested but they were also less likely to be re-convicted. In fact, forty-five percent of DTAP participants were less likely to be re-convicted when compared to prison comparisons. In the two-year study, forty-seven percent of prisoners, thirty percent of DTAP participants and twenty-six percent of DTAP graduates were re-convicted (Crossing the Bridge, 6). A reason why DTAP participants might be less likely to be rearrested is because the DTAP program was designed for drug offenders to succeed. In fact, the fear of going to prison rather than a treatment center is a factor why DTAP participants complete the DTAP program successfully. DTAP participants rather be a part of the program than be sent away to prison (Innovative).

Lastly, DTAP participants and graduates were less likely to be placed back into prison. Again according to the  National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University,” [of participants who completed the program and graduated] 87 percent [are] less likely to return to prison, than the comparable prison group” (Innovative). Fifteen percent of prisoners, five percent of DTAP participants and two percent of graduates were given new prison sentence (Crossing the Bridge, 6).

In conclusion, prisoners were more likely to be rearrested, re-convicted, and replaced in prison when compared to DTAP participants. DTAP graduates are the least likely to be rearrested, re-convicted, and replaced in prison. With that being said, programs like DTAP are more beneficial to drug offenders than prison. The DTAP program helps people live drug-free lifestyles.

Crossing the Bridge: An Evaluation of the Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison(DTAP) Program.“ CASAColumbia. TheNationalCenter on Addiction and Substance Abuse atColumbiaUniversity. Web. 11 Apr. 2012.

INNOVATIVE DRUG TREATMENT ALTERNATIVE TO PRISON PROGRAM REDUCES CRIME, PRISON COSTS”TheNationalCenter on Addiction and Substance Abuse atColumbiaUniversity, 2003. Web. 02 Apr. 2012.

Program Description.” KCDA HOMEPAGE.District Attorney KingCounty. Web. 11 Apr. 2012.

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1 Response to Causal Essay Revised – Tabitha Corrao

  1. davidbdale says:

    There are no doubt plenty of counterarguments to this one strong set of evidence, but you make your case well here, Tabitha.

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