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Drug Treatment in the Criminal Justice System

The Current State of Knowledge

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Document date: January 01, 2003
Released online: January 01, 2003

The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.

This report is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).


Contents

Executive Summary

CHAPTER 1. Prison Growth, Drug Abuse, and Treatment in the Criminal Justice System
INTRODUCTION
INCARCERATION TRENDS
EXPENDITURE TRENDS
PREVALENCE OF DRUG USE
DRUG TREATMENT IN CORRECTIONS
PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR DRUG TREATMENT
KEY RESEARCH QUESTIONS

CHAPTER 2. Screening and Assessment for Drug Treatment in the Criminal Justice System
INTRODUCTION
DEFINING SCREENING AND ASSESSMENT
SCREENING AND ASSESSMENT IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
SCREENING AND ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENTS
ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES
BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE SCREENING AND ASSESSMENT
KEY RESEARCH QUESTIONS

CHAPTER 3. Drug Treatment in the Criminal Justice System
INTRODUCTION
DEFINING TREATMENT
TREATMENT IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
DRUG TREATMENT MODALITIES AND SERVICES
COST OF DRUG TREATMENT
DRUG TREATMENT PREVALENCE IN CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS
TREATMENT PROGRAMMING ISSUES
KEY RESEARCH QUESTIONS

CHAPTER 4. Drug Treatment Effectiveness in the Criminal Justice System
INTRODUCTION
DRUG TREATMENT EFFECTIVENESS
THE FOUNDATIONS OF EFFECTIVE TREATMENT
THE FUTURE OF EFFECTIVE DRUG TREATMENT
COMPULSORY DRUG TREATMENT
COST-EFFECTIVENESS
METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES
KEY RESEARCH QUESTIONS

CHAPTER 5. Post-Release Drug Treatment in the Criminal Justice System
INTRODUCTION
REENTRY OF OFFENDERS INTO THE COMMUNITY
MEASURING PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS
TO WHAT EXTENT HAVE LINKAGES BEEN DEVELOPED?
METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES
KEY RESEARCH QUESTIONS

CHAPTER 6. Barriers to Drug Treatment in the Criminal Justice System
INTRODUCTION
POLITICAL BARRIERS
RESOURCE BARRIERS
ASSESSMENT BARRIERS
ADMINISTRATIVE AND ORGANIZATIONAL BARRIERS
PROGRAMMATIC BARRIERS
A COMPREHENSIVE CORRECTIONAL DRUG TREATMENT STRATEGY
KEY RESEARCH QUESTIONS

REFERENCES


Executive Summary

Only 61 percent of state correctional facilities provide substance abuse treatment. Notwithstanding a significant infusion of federal funds to support residential substance abuse treatment in prisons, the percentage of state prisoners participating in such programs has declined from 25 percent in 1991 to 10 percent in 1997. The policy shortfall is clear: Prisoners are not getting the drug treatment programs that would reduce their drug abuse and criminal behavior.

It is clear that we need to understand what happens as correctional agencies bring drug treatment into their systems. There are, perhaps, conflicting expectations, systems constraints, and philosophies. There are yet-to-be-specified roles that federal agencies might play to assist the integration of treatment into corrections.

The goal of this collaboration between the Urban Institute and the National Institute on Drug Abuse was to help inform the development of a research agenda that can address the unique circumstances of the criminal justice environment and the challenges posed by the integration of treatment services and a public health orientation into this environment.

To help achieve this goal, this report presents results from a review of the literature for six different dimensions bearing on drug treatment in the criminal justice correctional system. These dimensions are:

  • prevalence of drug abuse needs,
  • screening and assessment,
  • treatment programs and approaches,
  • treatment effectiveness,
  • linkages to post-release supervision, and
  • barriers to implementing drug treatment.

The literature reviews necessarily were broad in scope. The aim was to highlight research findings, issues, and gaps most relevant to developing research-based strategies for promoting and developing effective correctional drug treatment approaches.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The authors gratefully acknowledge the funding for this project, Strong Science for Strong Practice, provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Contract #N01DA-1-1104. The NIDA staff provided considerable support through-out all stages of this project. Special thanks are extended to Alan Leshner, Jack Stein, Pete Delany, Bennett Fletcher, and Jane Smither Holland. Glen Fischer of the Management Assistance Corporation assisted with the ongoing contractual issues in managing the project and helped ensure the success of the meeting of practitioners and researchers. Special thanks is given for the support provided by many Urban Institute staff, including Adele Harrell, Dionne Davis, Ruth White, John Hunsaker, and Dave Williams. Finally, we extend our appreciation and thanks to the many criminal justice practitioners and researchers who provided assistance with and/or participated in various stages of this project.

This report is one of an Urban Institute four-part series on drug treatment in the criminal justice system:

Drug Treatment in the Criminal Justice System: The Current State of Knowledge
by Daniel P. Mears, Laura Winterfield, John Hunsaker, Gretchen E. Moore, and Ruth M. White

Voices from the Field: Practitioners Identify Key Issues in Corrections-Based Drug Treatment
by Gretchen E. Moore and Daniel P. Mears

A Meeting of the Minds: Researchers and Practitioners Discuss Key Issues in Corrections-Based Drug Treatment
by Gretchen E. Moore and Daniel P. Mears

Improving the Link Between Research and Drug Treatment in Correctional Settings - Summary Report
by Daniel P. Mears, Gretchen E. Moore, Jeremy Travis, and Laura Winterfield


Topics/Tags: | Crime/Justice


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