Christie Promotes Drug Treatment Plan [AUDIO]
Governor Christie wants to make drug treatment mandatory for non-violent offenders in the Garden state.
He says with about 7 thousand people behind bars right now for non-violent drug offenses, the time has come to "get those people out of regular jails, and let's put them in a secure facility, where for a year they're going to get drug treatment…so that we can - when they finish paying their debt to society- that they can then become productive members of our society."
He says "this won't work with everybody, but we need to try it with everybody, because in my opinion, no life is disposable - and every one of God's creatures is redeemable."
Christie adds we've got to become smart about crime and stop ware-housing people - and this is not only a moral issue, but it's a financial issue as well, since "it costs about 39 thousand dollars a year to warehouse somebody in a state prison, but do you know how much it costs for me to get that person a year of drug treatment in a secure facility? About 12 thousand dollars a year…it makes no sense to throw these people in jail- maybe for some of us it makes us feel good - but to me for non violent offender offenders - it's almost like you could hear the noise of a wasting life -and it's not a happy noise- it's a sad noise - it's a tragic noise."
He says "we have a way to help them - and we need to send a message to them - by forcing them to go and get treated- the message we're going to be sending them is - your life has value -we care about you - we don't want to throw you away - and we want you to make something of your life - everybody deserves a second chance- all of us - all of us have made mistakes in our lives …and I hope we've all had people in our lives who have grabbed us by the hand and forgiven us and helped us to show us the way to make a better life."
Christie says right now "if you are arrested and you test positive for drugs -we want to make it mandatory that you go to drug court and mandatory that you go and get treatment -friends, family members who are drug addicted - they're in denial - if you ask them do they need drug treatment they say no, I'm fine -they- by testing positive, have forfeited their right to tell me they're okay - cause they've got drugs in their body - they're not okay - and you know it and I know it."
The Governor says he'll work with the Chief Justice of the Jersey Supreme Court and the Legislature to get that going in every County in the state.