Ferri opened the debate talking of the costs of drug addiction, with astonishing figures: «In 2015 the number of inmates doing time for drug related crimes was 26.000. In recent years it had seemed that the situation had improved, so much so that last year the number of detainees for drug related crimes had dropped to 13.000. But this year, out of the 50,000 prisoners there are 18,000 imprisoned for narcotics offenses, not including the crimes connected to drug addiction. To maintain an inmate in prison – continues Ferri – It takes about 150 € a day, not taking into account expenditures which were directly or indirectly caused as a result of that persons arrest, like the costs incurred to carry out investigations and lay charges and all the other charges due to the judicial processes to deal with when arrested. Currently the social expenditure for the drug problem has risen to 31.2 billion euros a year, this is a figure difficult to digest. This is because there are economic costs and social costs, which are hard to estimate».
The Secretary for Justice has highlighted the problems caused by substance abuse. «An addict creates costs, while bringing profit if status is fine and works. Moreover, we should also take into account all of the damage that a similar hardships cause to society and to the families, because they are issues that must be resolved and that pose considerable burden». The initiatives proposed by Ferri were very diverse, following even the example of San Patrignano and Wefree. «68% of those who are in prison for drug related crimes and finish their term there recommit offenses; Where as detainees that finish their terms in alternative punishment, only 15% recommit offenses. It is important to maintain the penalties – continues Ferri – which by the way are very strict, outstripping those of attempted murder. However, I believe that we should implement the use of alternative sentences, rehabilitative, and focus a lot more on prevention. We have to thank San Patrignano for the work they have done, which has created a network for the sharing of information to help young people throughout Italy and the world, showing the experiences of other young boys and girls, situations that could become all too real. On the other hand, we the State and the citizens, must strive to embrace these adolescents, give them a chance, because this represent an incentive for our country and real savings economically for our future. The math doesn’t lie».
Cosimo Maria Ferri at the Wefree Days