No prison sentences for drug users will cut reoffending

Claim made by: Nick Clegg
Location: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28703142
Spotted on: 2014-08-08

People convicted for possession of small amounts of drugs should not be put in prison in order to cut reoffending.

Update 2014-10-31

“We don’t know of a direct comparator in terms of another country that has removed the penalty of imprisonment while keeping in place other criminal penalties.
What we do know is that, broadly speaking, those countries that have removed criminal penalties and replaced them with administrative sanctions (such as those Australian states that have decriminalised cannabis) have not seen a significant increase in overall drug use as a result. This was also one of the findings of the UK Drug Policy Commission in their final report in 2012 (“A Fresh Approach to Drugs", p.20). There is therefore a legitimate question mark over the efficacy of criminal justice systems in general to reduce overall drug use in society.”

It’s good to see policymakers acknowledging when there’s no direct evidence, and referring to the best available relevant data.

Rating

Good evidence

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