Federal Prison And Addiction: What Are The Treatment Options?

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The need for prison-based addiction treatment is intense. In the most recent data from the Department of Justice in 2002, it was found that 68 percent of offenders reported symptoms of addiction in the year before their admission to jail that met addiction criteria. 16 percent of convicted offenders report they have committed their offense in order to get money for drugs. 63 percent of offenders who met addiction criteria had participated in some form of treatment in the past (James & Karberg, 2005).
Because convicted offenders tend to be locked up for longer periods than jail offenders, treatment possibilities in a prison setting are more far-reaching. The prison and treatment staff are in the best position to establish
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There is a lack of desire to help one another. This is part of the prison culture. When money is required to buy items that are needed or wanted, the requirement to give up prison job in order to enter treatment is a huge endeavor. Offenders can face physical threats of violence from other offenders if they participate. Treatment inside the prison system is inadequate to the community if there are no services available upon release for the offender and they are more likely to drop out of any treatment program that not related to their needs. Limited treatment resources can be related to the lack of trained staff and available treatment models. Many offenders want treatment, but worried that programs may cause them to have lower status within the prison setting (9 Treatment Issues, 2005).
Negative sanctions are one other problem affecting participation within the treatment program. While in the treatment program, offenders know exactly what the consequences of noncompliance and poor progress are. They understand that there are certain unbreakable or “cardinal” rules that are their guide. When the violations occur, the sanctions should be applied consistently. The penalties are specifically spelled out to the offender, so there is no doubt about the consequences of their non-compliance or breaking the established rules for the treatment
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