Drug offenders, in my opinion, should not be in prison. They are the individuals that can best be helped through rehabilitation. Drug offenders pose a very small threat to the safety of society and I feel that prison should only be reserved for violent murderers and psychopaths, for people who actually do harm to another person.
Most criminals who serve extended periods of incarceration, become institutionalized and are incapable of proper decision making and of reintegration. This is NOT in society's best interests. These people are often then released back into the same social and economic conditions which contributed to their criminal behaviour initially. We need to help offenders uncover the root causes of their behaviour and the factors contributing to crime and then address those, if our goal is really to prevent and reduce crime. Prison has been proven to NOT reduce or deter crime. So why are we still using it for small time offenders??