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Incarceration Vs. Treatment Part Three Of Five

Incarceration Vs. Treatment Part Three Of Five:
The Cost Effectiveness of Treatment Broken Down

Part two of this series reviewed how treatment costs less than incarceration. However, the Justice Policy Institute released an in-depth look at the overall cost effectiveness of treatment, and found that, dollar for dollar, treatment is better. The study found that, when using a cost-benefit analysis, treatment benefited employment rates, tax revenues, and society as a whole.

The study discovered that drug treatment programs inside a prison only yielded a benefit of approximately two dollars for every dollar spent on the program. However, outside treatment programs, such as a work release program, yielded a nearly nine dollar benefit for every dollar spent. Additionally, individuals attending programs outside prison tend to finish the programs, as compared to in prison programs, and have lower recidivism rates.

A number of other programs were found to be cost effective as well, such as community-based substance abuse treatment, intensive supervision programs, work release, and post-incarceration programming. The study did find, however, that some programs showed no significant payback on dollars spent, such as case management substance abuse programs.

The economic benefits of individuals living in the communities, building families, and working to provide back into the local economy was not measured in this study, however, it is recognized as an advantage to the community. While it is difficult to measure this advantage, it is still noted that having people at home rather than tying up the prison system is preferable after their rehabilitation measures are completed.

Basically, these programs return nearly eight dollars in benefits to society for every one dollar spent on treatment. It makes economic sense, when broken down into these numbers, to choose treatment over incarceration. The research is available and it is conclusive, so taxpayers are beginning to turn their attention to treatment and how to allocate government funds to treatment programs over incarceration.

If you’d like to talk more about the economic breakdown of rehabilitation, contact Vancouver Home Health Care Agency today.
At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.

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