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Treatment preferable to prison

I am writing in regard to the article "Wisconsin district attorneys request more prosecutors." This unfortunate problem of underfunding our judicial system is a systemic problem affecting not just Wisconsin, but most of the U.S. The squeeze on prosecutors is directly related to the sheer amount of opioid arrests. Opioid death is now the leading cause of injury death in Wisconsin. The solution, to me, seems obvious — in place of prosecuting opioid abusers, we need to take care of these people and put them in addiction treatment for at least three months.

I truly believe that in place of prosecuting opioid abusers and opioid drug dealers (most are addicts themselves) and placing them in treatment, we could lower the burden on our district attorneys and our public offenders. The amount of money per inmate per year is $37,994, and this does not include the money dedicated to the court costs. I say let's be proactive and build state-run affordable treatment centers; it may cost more money initially, but we will save much more money in the long run. We cannot afford, morally or fiscally, to lose an entire generation of our children to this horrible disease.