Term Paper: Special Population &amp Substance Abuse

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[. . .] Most of the paroles fail and rearrests occur within the first six months of release of inmates having substance abuse disorder. All new admissions in the U.S. prisons had staggering proportion of parole failures, from being 17% in 1991 to 35% in 2000 (Petersilia, 2000).

V- Drawbacks of not providing rehab treatments and facilities

There are a number of drawbacks related to non-provision of rehabilitation and treatment services to the substance abuse offenders. The most prominent is the re-offend rate of substance abusers and the resulting economic, social, and administrative issues being created for the state and federal government as well as counties. The U.S. has high rate of incarceration for the people involved in drug and substance abuse. It was reported in the Colombia University study of 2010 that every 8 of the 10 people involved in substance abuse are incarcerated by the government.

Despite having only one fifth of the world's population, the U.S. consumed two thirds of the illegal drugs consumed in the whole world. This indicates the high usage of substances and drugs and the resulting high ratio of incarceration by the government authorities. There are other striking findings reported in the Colombia University report regarding the rate of incarceration of U.S. inmates involved in substance abuse. The inmates being re-incarcerated and having substance abuse disorder are four times more likely to earn income from illegal activities. 41% of such inmates having drug abuse history have record of family members being involved in criminal activities. 20% of such inmates before their incarceration are also found to have been unemployed. This indicates that there are numerous issues, both physically and mentally that need to be treated in case of substance abusers in the U.S. prisons. Since these inmates are incarcerated within six months to three years of their release, this puts extra burden on the tax payers as tax-payer money is used to cater and meet the living needs of these inmates. In contrast, only if effective treatment facilities and rehabilitation programs such as those administered in the State of California are introduced in all the states, there can be considerable saving of tax-payer funds. Human resources and administrative costs of managing these substance abusers will also be reduced in community-based treatment facilities as compared to prisons. The correctional programs help reduce the criminal activities of offenders. Other areas of the offender's life have to be included in the treatment programs, such as employability, mental health, spouse relationships, and relationship with social connections.

VI- Cost vs. benefit analysis if rehabilitation programs and imprisonment

MacKenzie and Hickman (2006) outlined the costs and benefits of implementing an effective prevention and treatment program for the substance abusing inmates. The report was widely acclaimed for the sound recommendations it provided for controlling the costs of managing inmates with substance abuse records. The report recommended that most sound efforts that have effectively served the purpose of treatment were drug courts, educational programs, and intensive supervision of inmates during the rehabilitation phase. The study utilized the Maryland Crime Prevention Report and conducted Meta analyses of existing studies on prevention and treatment of substance abuse offenders. The authors also suggested that by relying on the theory of cognitive transformation, the practitioners can improve the results of their efforts in treating substance abusers in prisons. The study also emphasized on preventing the offenders from re-offending by eliminating the enabling environment that these substance abusers get for executing their activities. The most prominent benefit that fulfills the cost of treatment and intervention programs is that by not having to spend huge sums of money on managing the U.S. prisons inundated with scores of substance abusers that otherwise could have been provided with conciliatory services to rehabilitate them.

The Gadsden County Jail near Tallahassee, Florida houses 250 inmates as opposed to a capacity of 150. This was reported by CBS news and attributed the figures to president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Walter McNeil (Teichner, 2012). According to the coercive mobility hypothesis, the mass incarceration increases the probability of crimes by reducing the impact of informal social controls. Once the informal social controls are withered away due to mass incarceration, overall destabilization increases in the area where incarcerations are frequent (Clear, 2007).

VII- Conclusion

The addictive and patterned use of substances in quantities and forms not legally allowed or administered by clinicians is known as the substance abuse. American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) manages and publishes the criteria of substance abuse disorder. In context of special populations, out of total 2.3 million U.S. inmates, 1.5 million were reported to have been the casualty of substance abuse disorder, according to DSM criteria. Approximately 74% to 85% of the U.S. inmates were found to be substance abusers in two different studies. These studies were conducted by different authors and with a gap of 12 years between them. This indicates towards the magnitude of substance abuse issue in context of inmates. In order to address the issue, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons had initiated treatment and rehabilitation programs such as Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) and Community Transition Drug Abuse Treatment (TDAT). The contribution of U.S. Drug Courts has also been significant in treating the inmates having substance abuse disorder. The benefits of treatment, preventions, and rehabilitation programs for substance abusing inmates are significant and are more than the costs of such programs.


CASAColumbia (2010). Behind Bars II: Substance Abuse and America's Prison Population. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Colombia University. Retrieved from: http://www.casacolumbia.org/templates/PressReleases.aspx?articleid=592&zoneid=79

CDCR. (2013). Streamlined Substance Abuse Treatment Models. Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Retrieved from: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/DARS/

Clear, T.R. (2007). Imprisoning Communities: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Worse: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Worse. Oxford University Press, USA.

Fazel, S., Bains, P., & Doll, H. (2006). Substance abuse and dependence in prisoners: a systematic review. Addiction, 101(2), 181-191.

Federal Bureau of Prisons. (2011). Annual Report on Substance Abuse Treatments: Programs Fiscal Year 2011. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons BOP. Retrieved from: http://www.bop.gov/inmate_programs/docs/annual_report_fy_2011.pdf

Field, G. (1998). Continuity of Offender Treatment for Substance Use Disorders from Institution to Community: Treatment Improvement Protocol (Vol. 30). DIANE Publishing.

MacKenzie, D.L., & Hickman, L.J. (2006). What works in corrections? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Peters, R.H., Greenbaum, P.E., Edens, J.F., Carter, C.R., & Ortiz, M.M. (1998). Prevalence of DSM-IV substance abuse and dependence disorders among prison inmates. The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse, 24(4), 573-587.

Petersilia, J. (2000). When prisoners return to communities: Political, economic, and social consequences. Federal Probation, 65(1), 3-8.

Smith, N.E., & Trimboli, L. (2010). Comorbid substance and non-substance mental health disorders and re-offending among NSW prisoners. NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

Teichner, M. (2012, April). The cost of a nation of incarceration. CBS News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-57418495/the-cost-of-a-nation-of-incarceration/

WHO. (2013). Health Topics: Substance Abuse. World Health Organization. Retrieved from: http://www.who.int/topics/substance_abuse/en/

Appendix I

Fig 1 U.S. Incarceration rate in State and Federal Institutions

Appendix II

Source: (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2011) [END OF PREVIEW]

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