The Effects Of Substance Abuse Under Our Nation 's Correctional Supervision And The Impact On Rehabilitation Programs

1101 Words Jun 22nd, 2016 5 Pages
America currently has more than 4x the amount of individuals incarcerated than we did 40 years ago. Along with the spike in our prison population, we have seen an increase in individuals that abuse drugs and alcohol, especially hard drugs such as heroin. Almost half of the prison population has a history of substance abuse, therefor our government has begun to focus some of their efforts on rehabilitation programs for drug offenders. These efforts involve treatment during incarceration, as well as post-release care. The purpose of this paper is to show the prevalence of substance abuse under our nation’s correctional supervision and the impact that rehabilitation programs have on offenders.
Substance abuse is the main cause for high recidivism. Release and recidivism are of particular interest in criminal justice given that the mean incarceration length is only 21-28 months. (Lynch & Sabol, 2001) It is even more prevalent recently due to the spike in released individuals from 170,000 in 1980 to 585,000 in 2000. (Lynch & Sabol, 2001) Of that population, “67% of (incarcerated) individuals who were released returned to prison within 3 years, with 47% being convicted of new crimes and 52% violating the mandates of their paroles.” (Langan and Levin, 2002) According to Glazes’ (2011), on the last day of 2010 over 7 million persons were under correctional supervision. (Phillips, 2010) One of the largest causes for the high population of convicted offenders is substance abuse,…

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