There is a positive correlation between substance abuse and crime rate in America. An increase in crimes committed due to drug abuse has facilitated the involvement of the criminal justice system in the fight against substance abuse. The increases in crimes of this nature have led to overcrowding of correctional facilities (Cate, et al, 2009).
Prison Based Substance Abuse Treatment and Residential Aftercare Programs.
The correctional aspect is one of the main functions of the criminal justice system (Wormer & Persson, 2010). Inmates should undergo intensive substance abuse treatment prior to their release from prison (Belenko, Foltz, Lang & Sung, 2004). Statistics reveal that recidivism is on the increase. Notably, almost fifty percent of offenders rearrested are re-convicted of new crimes (Langan & Levin, 2002). The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has instituted four comprehensive substance abuse treatment programs that continue even after inmates are released.
This study explores the effectiveness of prison based and residential aftercare treatment regimes. There are various research questions for this study. They include: Do these programs reduce recidivism? Does the prison based treatment regime offer adequate treatment programs for offenders to reduce them from re-entry into the prison system? Do the substance abuse and residential, aftercare treatment programs play any role in reconditioning the offender?
The study is going to use both qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative techniques such as informal interviews, semi structured interviews, and treatment histories will be utilized. Additionally, the study is also going to use systemic, cognitive elicitation techniques to ascertain the quality of prison-based and residential aftercare treatment regimes. Furthermore, structured interviews with pre-designed discussion topic on the efficiency of treatment in reducing recidivism will be used. Quantitative methods will be utilized largely to ascertain the rates of recidivism. Quantitative methods that will be adopted include postal questionnaire surveys, surveys, and interviews.
Feasibility of the project
Effective treatment offers a long lasting solution to substance abuse treatment and enhances the reduction of recidivism. Integration of prison based, and residential treatment programs reduce the drug abuse menace for prisoners who are released into the society. Alternative support structures and therapeutics serve as ingredients for adherence of offenders to the treatment program. These programs play a major role in reconditioning inmates thus reducing chances of recidivism.
Belenko, S., Foltz, C. Lang, M. A. & Sung, H. (2004). Recidivism among High-Risk Drug Felons: A Longitudinal Analysis Following Residential Treatment. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 40 (1/2), pp. 105-132.
The increasing incidents of crime can be attributed to the ever-increasing access to substance abuse. These events have spurred concerns over the expansion of prisons and residential aftercare programs. The Drug Treatment Alternate to Prison (DTAP) program has been successful in the reduction of recidivism. At the same time, DTAP has also delayed time for the first rearrest of the offenders who have gone through the system.
Wormer, K., & Persson, L. (2010). Drug Treatment Within the U.S. Federal Prison System: Are Treatment Needs Being Met? Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 49 (5), 363-375.
Majority of the United States inmates are drug addicts. In-prison treatment before they are released back to the society is very important. Substance abuse and correctional treatments are essential in reconditioning the inmate before they are released into the society to reduce recidivism.
Wheeler, D. P., & Patterson, G. (2008). Prisoner Reentry. Health & Social Work, 33 (2), 145-147.
Released inmate encounter varied number of problems after serving their terms in prison. These problems include homelessness, unemployment, legal barriers, exclusion, drug abuse, and mental illness. Residential aftercare programs are essential in reducing these problems thereby reducing recidivism.
Linhorst, M. D. (2001). Situational Influences on the Implementation of a Prison-Based Therapeutic Community. The Prison Journal December. 81 (4), 436-453.
Therapeutic communities (TCs) are increasingly being used as substance abuse treatment programs. For a therapeutic program to effectively treat substance abuse and reduce recidivism, it depends on how successful the program is implemented.
Harrison, D. L. (2001). The Revolving Prison Door for Drug-Involved Offenders: Challenges and Opportunities. Crime & Delinquency. 47(3), 462-485.
Various studies carried out reveal that recidivism and drug use can be greatly reduced through effective treatment. Therapeutic community programs and aftercare services have had a considerable impact on reducing recidivism.
American Psychological Association. (2004). Inmate Drug Abuse Treatment Slows Prison’s Revolving Door. Retrieved from
Treatment of prisoners during incarceration and after release reduces recidivism at the same time enabling them get employed. A combination of prison-based substance abuse treatment and aftercare reduces recidivism.
Burdon M. W., Dang, J., Prendergast, L. M., Messina, P. N. & Farabee, D. (2007). Differential effectiveness of residential versus outpatient aftercare for parolees from prison-based therapeutic community treatment programs. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 2 (16). Do: 10.1186/1747-597X-2-16
Research in substance use treatment reveals that effective treatment results in better outcome in the treatment of severe substance abuse. Expanding prison based treatment services for the inmates will also increase the demand and supply of aftercare treatment of substance abuse. This helps reduce recidivism, as well as substance abuse relapse.
Hiller, L. M., Knight, K. & Simpson, D.D. (1999). Prison-based substance abuse treatment, residential aftercare and recidivism. PubMed, 94 (6), pp. 833-42.
In-prison therapeutic community (ITC) followed by residential aftercare is an effective treatment regime for recidivism after the release of offenders from prisons. High quality programs and services that ensure a continuum from in-prison treatment to residential aftercare effectively reduce recidivism.