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June 28, 2004

UK drug users commit crime to get into prison-based treatment : News

(Source:'Crime pays for drug users desperate for access to treatment ' : The Guardian Online, 28 Jun 2004)

Almost one-third of chronic drug users interviewed in areas of Britain where community drug treatment services were poor said they committed crimes to get themselves arrested and imprisoned simply to get access to treatment, according to research published today by the social care charity Turning Point. The study, Routes into Treatment: Drugs and Crime, says that the development of drug treatment and testing orders (DTTOs) has proved so effective in parts of the country as a fast track into treatment services for drug abusers convicted of crime that they are seen by desperate drug users as the only way to get treatment. It points out that, for the first time, the government is now spending more money on treatment ordered by the courts and the police than on treatment services in the community for all drug abusers. The report finds that DTTOs are effective at getting convicted offenders into treatment and can have significant benefits at reducing re-offending, with 38 per cent fewer being reconvicted compared with other offenders. The research is to be presented at a conference today to be addressed by the home secretary, David Blunkett

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