Sarasota, Florida is actively working to only incarcerate the most heinous criminals:

Around 700 people
per year who used to go to the jail are not taken there any more after
Sarasota County committed $1 million annually to operate an “adult
addictions receiving facility” at First Step of Sarasota Inc. The
facility expanded from a 15-bed voluntary treatment center to a 30-bed,
locked and secure facility in 2006, for people detained as alcoholics
or substance abusers who pose a threat to themselves or others.

Previously, officers had little other choice but the jail when
they arrested people under Florida’s Marchman Act. The number of people
booked into the jail under the Marchman Act has dropped from 868 in
2004 to 114 this year, said county Criminal Justice Coordinator Wayne
Applebee. The county also has spent $3.5 million since 2006 on a
10-week substance abuse program and transitional housing for those who
complete it, with the idea of rehabilitating the inmates so they do not
return to crime.

Other municipalities must follow Sarasota’s fine lead. Educating,
reforming and helping  the fallen — is much cheaper in the short run
and more beneficial to the community in the long run — than jailing
non-dangerous offenders.

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