There is little in the way of treatment while incarcerated for criminal defendants that have drug or alcohol problems
Often times, many people that suffer from drug or alcohol abuse addiction issues can find themselves in criminal related activities. Although many prisons or jails offer some sort of treatment for those willing to get help to conquer their addiction the treatment is not always helpful. Many addicted incarcerated inmates are able to make their own alcohol or obtain drugs. According to Newswise, only 10% of the people incarcerated receive treatment whereas at least 50% of inmates who are incarcerated for drug related charges do not receive any type of treatment. This is due to meeting the eligibility requirements and/or their lack of wanting to seek help. Therefore, it is important to note that these programs work only if the individual whom has a problem wishes to get better. Studies have shown that those individuals that receive treatment during their time while incarcerated have shown less aggressive behavior, more positive attitudes, are disciplined less by the guards and are less likely to get into altercations with other inmates.
However, those that do not receive treatment often find themselves back, addicted and abusing drugs or alcohol after being released and often wind up in trouble again with the law. Sadly, this is often the case. In fact, about 95% of released prisoners go back to using drugs or alcohol. Therefore it is imperative that the criminal justice system continues to provide more intensive treatment programs to help addicts get help and remain out of prison and or jail. Although it is seen by many as too expensive to implement treatment programs into the jail and/or prison facilities (It costs billions of dollars per year) it has shown to have had some success. It may seem small but with a 5% success rate of addicts that are released and have turned their lives around it is a step in the right direction.
The realization that jails or prisons had a need for some sort of treatment programs came in 1989, when Florida introduced ‘The Sentencing Project’ which was meant to implement treatment programs into the criminal justice system. This grew to be a popular trend and is now offered in all fifty states. The main purpose of this project was to treat the offender rather than ignore their substance abuse problem.
Many first time offenders, depending on the crime they committed, are offered a chance at entering a rehabilitation center rather than be incarcerated. This is extremely beneficial and can save the criminal justice system billions of dollars. There are several benefits of criminals with substance abuse problems obtaining treatment. With the proper and professional treatment they are able to realize the underlying reason they are abusing drug or alcohol and address those issues. This helps with the decrease of re-occurrence of re-arrest or incarceration thus decreasing more crime related activities. If the criminal is able to stay sober and get their lives back on track they will be able to move on and live a productive and healthy lifestyle. There are also programs that are available for offenders that require treatment as well as supervision to ensure that they are staying on the right path.