Why It Matters…

Trauma is sticky stuff. Research shows that living side by side with someone who has post-traumatic stress disorder can take a toll on you. Even if you have never been a victim, their anxiety, flashbacks & ongoing heightened level of stress affects every cell in your body. Children who live with domestic violence or any type of abuse produce higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that changes the way their body’s adapt & cope.

“Recidivism is the act of reengaging in criminal offending despite having been punished.” www.pewtrusts.org When we re-define drug abuse & addiction as an illness & not as a crime, our national recidivism rates will plummet. Jail & prison cells will be emptied as men & women head into treatment leaving the criminal justice system to deal with criminal behavior.

Women who have served time can look forward to a 40% drop in lifetime earnings. This can also include the loss of driving privileges which creates huge hurdles that they are left to deal with on a daily basis. Nadine has to get up at 4:30 AM so that she can get her 5 year old son to school on time& then catch another bus to get to her job in Largo. “It takes me 2 hours to get to my job by bus that is only 20 minutes away.”

It costs $20,000 – $30,000 a year to house an inmate. The average cost for treatment of alcohol or drug abuse in outpatient facilities was an estimated $1,433 per course of treatment in 2002, according to a new report released by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

“Without education, job skills, and other basic services, offenders are likely to repeat the same steps that brought them to jail in the first place …This is a problem that needs to be addressed head-on. We cannot say we are doing everything we can to keep our communities and our families safe if we are not addressing the high rate at which offenders are becoming repeat criminals.” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), March 18, 2009