Oregon audit says treat addicted offenders

SALEM, Ore. — Secretary of State auditors estimate if all high-risk criminal offenders in Oregon received drug treatment, state programs and crime victims would have saved nearly $22 million between 2008 and 2011.

The audit released Tuesday tracked about 4,500 offenders who were the most likely to re-offend and who had a serious drug problem. It found only half received treatment after they left prison. According to the audit, 70 percent of inmates in 2012 had a substance abuse problem.

The Oregonian reports auditors say Medicaid could cover the cost of drug treatment through the Affordable Care Act.

The director of the secretary of state's audits division, Gary Blackmer, says by leveraging federal funding for drug treatment, the state could save on the cost of treating ex-offenders.

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