Chris Christie Announces Closing Prison to Become Rehab Facility
If there’s one good thing that has come of the 2016 presidential race, it’s the increased attention to the substance abuse epidemic impacting the country in increasingly negative ways. Each of the candidates has spoken openly about their opinions regarding the matter and plans for addressing the issue should they win the election.
For some the subject is a personal matter; we know about Jeb Bush’s daughter, Noelle, and her struggles with addiction, as well as the speech Chris Christie delivered regarding the loss of a friend to the disease which has since gone viral. While all the candidates have expressed that addiction has touched their lives in one way or another- a reality everyone can attest to- it seems Bush and Christie have the most genuine reasons for taking on the cause of eradicating substance abuse in the U.S.
You wouldn’t think prisons would be a part of those plans.
The prison system has definitely been on the receiving end of criticism regarding its treatment of drug offenders. With ridiculous sentences, lack of rehabilitation services, and a number of drug smuggling attempts and successes, many prison reform advocates are calling for a complete overhaul of the way we treat inmates with substance abuse disorders.
Governor and presidential hopeful Chris Christie is taking that challenge literally.
On January 12th Christie announced that a closing state prison in New Jersey would be converted into a drug treatment facility which would serve both people in the communities and incarcerated. This news comes along with $1.7 million dollars in new funding for New Jersey’s recovery coaching program to expand the program, which comes hand in hand with $100 million dollars to increase access to mental health and substance abuse recovery programs.
For the state of New Jersey, this type of commitment to addiction relief is much needed. The state has been ravished by the effects of the substance abuse, most notably heroin. As a state, New Jersey has been ahead of the curve when it comes to changing the way we look at addiction and treatment. He also took a moment to recognize the united front necessary to truly achieve the goal of eradicating addiction across the country:
“For the last six years, we’ve done it differently in New Jersey. A lot of people in this room have shown the courage to set aside partisan differences and achieve real progress. So to all those who have chosen to reach out across the aisle — thank you, thank you for all you’ve done for our state.”
Do you think Governor Christie’s approach to handling substance abuse in New Jersey would be effective on a federal level? Comment below with your thoughts!
Keep Up With Trending Addiction News
About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.