Substance Abuse

The majority of people in prison and jail have a substance use disorder. Despite the promise demonstrated by some treatment programs for people who are incarcerated, just a fraction of the people who need services for substance abuse receive it. Connecting people incarcerated to treatment programs proven to be effective, prioritizing resources for those nearing release, and encouraging community-based aftercare will ensure better outcomes for people released from prisons and jails, and the communities to which they return.

Substance Abuse FAQs

Providing answers on relevant topics concerning Mental Health, Health and Substance Abuse topics.

Recent Posts

Center for Court Innovation

Q&A with Julian Adler of the Red Hook Community Justice Center

As the nation’s first multijurisdictional community court, the Red Hook Community Justice Center in Brooklyn has served as a neighborhood hub for clinical services, community service, youth programs, and other social supports since its founding in 2000.

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DC Courts Are Connecting Individuals with On-Site Treatment

Having an urgent care clinic located only feet away from courtrooms allows judges and court staff to guarantee that people have access to services. For many defendants, this may be the first contact they’ve had with a mental health professional. Moreover, for some, this treatment may well reduce the likelihood that they will be arrested in the future.

U.S. Capitol

Congress Funds Key Criminal Justice Programs

Congress funded three key programs championed by the Council of State Governments Justice Center as part of an appropriations bill that provided $26.7 billion to support U.S. Department of Justice programs.

Announcements

Center for Juvenile Justice Reform

2015 Multi-System Integration Certificate Program

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy is now accepting applications for its 2015 Multi-System Integration Certificate Program. The weeklong program, held October 29–November 4, is designed for professionals who want to learn how to improve outcomes for youth who are involved in multiple systems of care, particularly juvenile justice and child welfare systems, by improving systems collaboration.

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UNITE to Face Addiction

Hosted by Facing Addiction, this event is intended to bring together communities and organizations to face the problem of substance use and addiction and to stand up for recovery.

National Fatherhood Initiative

On-Demand Father Engagement Training

Offered by the National Fatherhood Initiative, this program—designed for individuals who work with or wish to work with fathers and families in communities—provides online training around five core competency areas on effective father engagement.

U.S. Senate

Bill to Fund Key Justice Programs Advances out of Senate Appropriations Committee

On the heels of the U.S. House of Representatives’ approval of the FY2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee has passed a $51.1 billion spending bill that would fund three key programs championed by the Council of State Governments Justice Center: the Second Chance Act, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act, and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative.

Webinars

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Risk Need Responsivity 101: A Primer for SCA and JMHCP Grant Recipients

This webinar provides foundational knowledge on RNR as well as guidance on understanding and implementing risk assessment tools as a way to direct resources and support recidivism-reduction strategies for criminal justice and social service agencies, practitioners, and policymakers.

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Improving Outcomes for Court-Involved Youth with Co-Occurring Disorders

This webinar provides an overview of three briefs that were recently published by National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges on the treatment of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders among youth.

Publications

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Toolkit: Meeting the Needs of Women in California’s County Justice Systems

This toolkit from Californians for Safety and Justice describes how counties can benefit from developing criminal justice solutions focused on women. It is designed to provide sheriffs’ departments, probation departments, practitioners, and other leaders with a blueprint for addressing the needs of women under local supervision

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Tuesday TED-style Talk at NatCon15

During this “TED-style” talk at the National Council of Behavioral Health’s annual NatCon conference, the CSG Justice Center’s Dr. Fred Osher explained how the risk-need-responsitivity (RNR) model can be used to reduce recidivism.

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Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice

This publication from the Brennan Center for Justice is a collection of essays on mass incarceration from prominent figures and experts from across the political spectrum. A bipartisan collaboration, the essays reflect a political shift from the punitive policies of the 1980s and 1990s.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Journal of Juvenile Justice

This issue of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Journal of Juvenile Justice features articles on behavioral health therapy for young women in the juvenile justice system; juvenile justice in rural areas; the impact of child protective services on reoffending; reducing “social distance” between minority youth and law enforcement; recommendations on how to help youth get out of gangs; and addressing sex education with youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system.

Recent headlines

Connecticut Eases Penalties for Most Drug Possession Crimes

Connecticut’s drug laws will go from some of the most draconian in the country to some of the most lenient this fall when most drug possession crimes are reduced from felonies to misdemeanors, a change that’s increasingly finding common ground between Democrats and Republicans.

New Program Aims to Help Reduce Recidivism in Allegheny County

A Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency grant will fund a new program in Allegheny County aimed at providing affordable housing, employment services and other support for a group of men and women most at risk of returning to jail. The Allegheny County Mental Health and Justice Housing program, an effort of the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative, will focus on 20 people with serious mental illness — or a mental disorder paired with one relating to drug and alcohol use — who have cycled in and out of the criminal justice, behavioral health and homeless services systems.

Judges Replacing Conjecture with Formula for Bail

Developed by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, a formula which assesses an individual’s likelihood of committing another crime, or skipping a court date, can help judges make decisions around bail. After two years of testing, the formula, developed at a cost of $1.2 million is being rolled out to 21 more jurisdictions, including states like Arizona and New Jersey and cities like Chicago and Pittsburgh.

Will New Bipartisan Criminal Reform Plan Fly?

The Crime Report By Ted Gest As support for criminal justice reform has spread, many states have left the federal government behind when it comes to reducing their prison populations. There were 208,598 federal inmates as of yesterday, dwarfing the […]

Alabama Drug Felons to Get Welfare Benefits after 2 Decade Ban

Alabama will become one of the last states to override the ban and allow felony drug offenders to receive food stamps and temporary cash payments with the passage of a comprehensive prison reform bill during the 2015 legislative session. None of the bill’s provisions can go into effect in 2016, though, until the Legislature appropriates $26 million to fund the bill’s other reform measures.

Momentum on Criminal Justice Repair

Today a new bipartisan coalition is forming, grouping people like President Obama and the billionaire Koch brothers. They are united in the belief that overincarceration has proven ineffectual, wasteful and counterproductive.

Mental Health 911: Areas with Most Calls Have Fewest Services

Both Chicago and Illinois have made big cuts to mental health services in recent years. That has left managing mental illness on the plates of some people who never set out to do that job —like police officers and jail staff. Staff at Cook County Jail run a mental health hotline that people who leave the jail can call anytime. Also, there is a special training officers can take to respond to these calls. It is called Crisis Intervention Training (CIT).

Linking Released Inmates to Health Care

“Oftentimes, they are people who have been diagnosed for the first time while in prison. On the outside, they don’t know where to go to access care.”

New York City to End Contract with Rikers Health Care Provider

New York City officials have known for years about serious problems with Corizon Health Inc., the for-profit company that oversees medical care at the Rikers Island jail complex. The decision ends the company’s troubled 15-year history at the city’s jails, but it also highlights the enormous challenge of providing quality health care to the inmates at Rikers.