Gentlepeople: The report below states that 11 percent of prison inmates who need it receive drug treatment. It repeats findings of earlier studies.
The same dilemma exists for inmates with mental health issues; the vast majority do not receive treatment. Ditto for offenders with educational and occupational deficiencies.
The Pew Center for the States, the Sentencing Project and The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (see report below) are all trying different approaches involving services to offenders and new sentencing structures to cut the rate of return to prison which saves states considerable sums of money and reduces crime.
But with most states severely financially strapped, we do not see anything dramatic changing in the near future. See http://crimeinamerica.net/2010/02/17/budget-cuts-hurting-justice-system-crime-news/ On offenders and mental illness, see http://crimeinamerica.net/2009/06/24/new-study-documents-high-prevalence-of-serious-mental-illnesses-among-nation%e2%80%99s-jail-populations/. Please note that there is additional offender self-report data that suggests 50 percent or more claim mental health issues.
Crime in America.Net staff.
NEW REPORT FINDS:
65 PERCENT OF ALL U.S. INMATES MEET MEDICAL CRITERIA FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE ADDICTION,
ONLY 11 PERCENT RECEIVE ANY TREATMENT
DRUGS, ALCOHOL IMPLICATED IN 78 PERCENT OF VIOLENT CRIMES, 83 PERCENT OF PROPERTY CRIMES, 77 PERCENT OF WEAPON, PUBLIC ORDER, OTHER CRIMES
New York, NY, February 26, 2010 – Of the 2.3 million inmates crowding our nations prisons and jails, 1.5 million meet the medical criteria for substance abuse or addiction, and another 458,000, while not meeting the strict criteria, had histories of substance abuse; were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time of their crime; committed their offense to get money to buy drugs; were incarcerated for an alcohol or drug law violation; or shared some combination of these characteristics, according to Behind Bars II: Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population. Combined these two groups constitute 85 percent of the U.S. prison population.
The new 144-page report released today by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University also reveals that alcohol and other drugs are significant factors in all crime. In 2006, alcohol and other drugs were involved in these inmate offenses:
78 percent of violent crimes;
83 percent of property crimes; and
77 percent of public order, immigration or weapon offenses; and probation/parole violations.
The CASA report found that only 11 percent of all inmates with substance abuse and addiction disorders receive any treatment during their incarceration. The report found that if all inmates who needed treatment and aftercare received such services, the nation would break even in a year if just over 10 percent remained substance and crime free and employed. Thereafter, for each inmate who remained sober, employed and crime free the nation would reap an economic benefit of $90,953 per year.
The report also noted that in 2005, federal, state and local governments spent $74 billion on incarceration, court proceedings, probation and parole for substance-involved adult and juvenile offenders and less than one percent of that amount–$632 million–on prevention and treatment for them.*
The CASA report also found that compared to non-substance involved inmates, substance-involved inmates are not only likelier to be re-incarcerated, begin their criminal careers at an early age, and have more contacts with the criminal justice system, but they are also:
Four times likelier to receive income through illegal activity;
Twice as likely to have had at least one parent who abused alcohol or other drugs when they were children;
41 percent likelier to have some family criminal history;
29 percent less likely to have completed at least high school; and
20 percent likelier to be unemployed a month before incarceration.
For more information visit www.casacolumbia.org