CRIME Drugs policy should be revised

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The Independent Online
Two-thirds of expenditure on tackling the drug problem is spent on law enforcement and one-third on prevention, education and treatment, according to a report published today by the Penal Affairs Consortium.

Calling for wider use of treatment programmes for drug-misusing offenders, the consortium says punishments rarely stop drug use, but merely result in a cycle of crime, imprisonment and continued drug use. Yet drug-abusers who reach the stage of police stations, courts or prisons are at a crisis point, "which can be a powerful motivating factor to accept help".

A substantial body of research in the US has found that treatment programmes can produce marked reductions in illegal drug-use and drug-related crime, the report adds.

Crime, Drugs and Criminal Justice, free from the Penal Affairs Consortium, 169 Clapham Road, London SW9 OPU.