I recently took the Centre for Social Justice Inner City Challenge, spending three days in drug and alcohol rehabilitation with ex-offenders at Acorn Treatment.You can read Steve's article about the experience; but the really interesting thing is the documentary made by Bad Kamra.
It's an hour long, but features the stories of people who got addicted to drugs and became criminals on the back of it. Many of them had had horrific childhoods—is anyone surprised when someone states that they were sexually abused whilst in "Care" these days?—and many of them had been in prison for decades (whether consistently, or on and off).
Inevitably, many of them had become crack or heroin addicts whilst in prison—where, apparently, anything drug-wise is easily available (another state failure).
The point is that the approach taken by Acorn appears to be very successful—counsellors are former drug-addicts and criminals, support is provided as a package and over time. Critically, though, the offenders are treated as individuals—not as statistics or a lumped together group—which proves, to my libertarian mind, that it is the individual approach to support that is important.
How many fewer people might become offenders in the first place if society's solution to their problems was to help individuals, rather than salving their consciences' through their tax payments to an uncaring state?
Anyway, Acorn seem to be doing good work and I highly recommend watching the documentary.
And I would like to sent a "well done" to Steve Baker for undertaking the challenge.