McGreevey says N.J. should direct more resources toward drug treatment

TRENTON – Former Gov. Jim McGreevey said today the state needs to provide more resources to individuals for drug treatment, and not so much for incarceration.

“Addiction is the major reason for incarceration,” he said during an Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee hearing into halfway house abuses in New Jersey. “Government continues to fail to treat addiction and it has a staggering impact.”

He said each year billions of dollars are spent jailing individuals suffering from drug addiction and not as much is spent on treatment.

While he called the signing last week of the drug court expansion bill “a good start,” he said more needs to be done.

He made recommendations such as getting families involved, instituting faith-based programs and establishing employment readiness programs.

“A job program is the best social welfare program in the world,” he said.

Halfway houses, he said, have a powerful constructive role, adding that it’d be “a terrible harm” to treat them like prisons.

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McGreevey says N.J. should direct more resources toward drug treatment