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Drug Problems Inside California Penitentiaries

Aug 06 2015, by Jessica McElfresh in Criminal Convictions, Drug Crimes, Legal Blog

In California penitentiaries, the drug problem continues to grow. Over the past decade, drug use has grown dramatically, with one out of four inmates testing positive for illegal substances last year. Deaths due to drug overdoses in California prisons are triple the average in the U.S. When you add in suicides and homicides related to prison drug use, the numbers grow even more.

Not only do drug overdoses kill, the prison black market for drugs is known to incite regular violence within state penitentiaries. Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard has categorized the situation as reaching catastrophic levels. Every day, the problem seems to get worse with no end in sight.

No Effective Solutions to the Drug Problem in Sight

Despite increasing efforts to eliminate drug use within prisons, the number of inmates found with illegal drugs only continues to grow. In response, prisons have stepped up screenings of visitors and employees entering the grounds, yet to no avail. The added drug dogs, body scanners, and strip searches have only led to increased humiliation and intimidation of visitors, not any significant drop in drug use.

While some espouse the view that increasing these policies will make them more effective, others maintain that the policies simply do not work. Both sides have a point. Despite over $8 million spent on scanning technology and other preventative measures, very little has changed within prisons so far, yet only about 5 percent of visitors and employees are actually currently being scanned. Still, no guaranteed effective solutions for the drug problem within California penitentiaries is in sight.

With drugs causing so many problems in the California prison population, perhaps the greater solution needs to emphasize treatment, thus eliminating some of the demand. While California has softened laws punishing drug addicts for drug use, the state still has a long way to go before this problem can be resolved.

In the meantime, California penitentiaries remain a dangerous place for many inmates. A conviction for a drug crime that lands you in prison can not only change your life negatively in the short term but also negatively impact your future in the long-term as well. If you have been arrested on a drug-related charge, call experienced California drug lawyer Jessica McElfresh at (858) 756-7107 today for a free consultation on your case. She will fight to get you the best outcome possible no matter what.