ASK THE EXPERT: The Addictions Coach Answers Your Questions

QUESTION:  As an addiction professional don’t you think it is important if your client has committed a crime to make them pay for it?  As in they stole something to get high and got caught and need to go to jail to learn a lesson?  ~ submitted by Jay S. Newark, NJ

Cali Says:  Sometimes, but not all the time.  If a client will be severely penalized for a small crime, then I do not think it is necessary to go that route. For example, if a financial advisor will lose his license because he stole a few hundred dollars from a client, then no I do not think it is necessary to ruin his career over a small amount like that, unless it is a habitual behavior with no consequences.  I had a client that kept getting out of trouble with the law because his father was a judge. The client crashed several cars, stole things, burglarized homes and never had consequences, so he kept doing the behavior.  In a case like that, jail time is necessary for the person to stop the behavior and realize that they will not always be taken care of when they do something wrong. It is imperative to send a message at that point.
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