Charles Towns wrote the following in his book “Habits That Handicap,” which was published in 1915.
“If a drug-user or alcoholic who has been locked up in a prison is in no way relieved of his craving for the substance which is harming him, and his efforts to obtain it will be desperate. The class of men who surround him as prison guards is not of a high type. If he has money, they will get it from him if they can; and if he has friends outside, especially if they themselves be drug or liquor addicts, they will attempt to smuggle to him what he craves. Inasmuch as it is much easier to smuggle drugs into a prison than it is alcohol, many alcoholics have been changed in prison to drug-takers, and after this change the metamorphosis for the mere drunkard into an actual criminal has often occurred.”
Few of his predictions were more on the mark than this one! Prisons, a controlled environment where inmates are supposedly restricted and confined away from temptation of drugs, today have a tendency to be positively saturated with them. Staying clean and sober as a prisoner can be extremely difficult. Refusing to get high as the others can risk one’s life. If identified as a potential snitch, the prisoner very well may end up being murdered. In such cases, there never seem to be any witnesses.
How can this be? There are apparent electronic ways of transfering money on the outside then end up determining who receives dope on the inside. Guards function as the connection between the outside and the inside. One would think the guards’s added income would be traceable if the authorities chose to investigate.
Until this phenomena begins to change, our prisons will continut to breed addiction. Creative minds need to focus on solutions. The alternatives of releasing addicts back into society so that they can be rearrested only to continue their addictions is insane.