HEALTH

Former Gov. McGreevey: Strong Connection Between Addiction and Incarceration

Boys and Girls Clubs help kids avoid the pitfalls of the streets. The Jersey City Employment and Training Program helps people just out of jail find jobs and homes and hope after they’ve fallen through the cracks into crime and drugs. Its executive director is former Gov. Jim McGreevey. He spoke with NJTV News Correspondent Mary Alice Williams about the connection between opioid addiction and incarceration.

According to McGreevey, 70 percent of people behind bars are clinically addicted to drugs, alcohol or a combination and 40 percent confront mental illness. He said addiction is a disease, which New Jersey has recognized.

“Treatment has to be the preferential option over incarceration,” McGreevey said.

He also said it’s critically important to reach out to businesses to ensure that people have jobs after they get out of jail so that they don’t return to criminal activity.

For more stories that are part of the initiative Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis, click here.