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Crime is often an act of desperation. It's nothing that the person would have done if he or she had not had outside factors to consider. There is a very interesting connection that can be found when looking at drug crimes, as the use of drugs and the need for money to purchase more often leads to other crimes.

The Bureau of Justice looked at the numbers for 2004 and found that a full 17 percent of those in state facilities and 18 percent of the inmates in federal facilities said that the crimes they carried out were only done to get money to buy drugs. The numbers were pretty consistent with the same data from 1997, when that claim was made by 16 percent of federal inmates and 19 percent of state inmates.

In 2002, the BOJ looked at those being held in local jails on drug charges and property crime charges, and they also found that most of them -- about 25 percent -- were just trying to get money to fund a drug habit. Tellingly, the number plummets for violent crimes, dropping all the way to 5 percent.

The role of addiction is not something that should be taken lightly. Not only does it mean more people are arrested with drugs and unable to get off of them even if they would like to, but it can create a spike in these related crimes. This shows just how badly some of those who are convicted really need treatment programs and help dealing with addiction, and those facing charges must know what options they have in California.

Source: Bureau of Justice, "Drugs and Crime Facts," accessed May 26, 2016

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