Health-Based Solutions

Health-Based Solutions

The ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project works to reform our nation's punitive drug policies that have contributed to unprecedented levels of incarceration. A far more sensible way to deal with a public health problem like drug addiction is to provide treatment, which study after study has shown is more effective than incarceration.

Drug use is fundamentally a public health issue and must be dealt with as such. Drug policies must be evidence-based and incorporate prevention, treatment and public safety. Texas, for example, has implemented a number of reforms in recent years that prioritize drug treatment over incarceration, and its crime rate has dropped to its lowest rate since 1973 as a result.

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CASES

Massachusetts v. Landry, ACLU Brief (2002 Resource)

Is it "a crime" for an enrollee in a Department of Public Health-approved needle exchange program in a particular city or town "to distribute or possess needles or syringes" in another city or town that has not granted approval to the participant's program?

RESOURCES

Needle Exchange Programs Promote Public Safety (2006 Resource)

Fact Sheet on Needle Exchange Programs

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