24 Nov 2015

More care for American Samoa drug addicts needed - chief justice

9:04 am on 24 November 2015

American Samoa's Chief Justice says he is concerned there's a lack of care for drug addicts in jail.

Michael Kruse says drug addiction, including crystal methamphetamine, is not just a criminal matter, but a social and medical problem that the government seriously needs to tackle.

He says from the court's perspective, an addiction treatment program is a more important funding priority than job creation.

The court has recently been told that a federally-funded program for addicts at the Territorial Correctional Facility has been discontinued due to an exhaustion of funds.

Drug defendants are also no longer separated from the general jail population.