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Drug Abusers: Jail or Treatment?

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

While U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered federal prosecutors to back away from “draconian” sentences for lower-level drug offenders, changing Florida’s drug laws and mindset could prove difficult, the Miami Herald reports. 

Even as Florida’s crime rate has declined over the past four decades, the prison population has grown with non-violent, first-time offenders, mostly for small quantities of prescription drugs.

In another article on drug arrests, Palm Beach County has created a civil drug court.  Volunteer judges have the power to order addicts into treatment rather than jail, using what is known as the Marchman Act, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.