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


Kansas Increases Access to Behavioral Health Services for People on Community Supervision

As part of implementing the state’s justice reinvestment legislation, which Governor Sam Brownback signed into law in May 2013, Kansas has allocated this upfront “reinvestment” to hire 40 experienced service providers in community corrections departments and community-based organizations throughout Kansas to increase access to behavioral health treatment for people on probation.

Congress Unveils Bill Funding Key Justice Programs

On January 13, 2014 the House and Senate appropriators released the $1 trillion omnibus federal spending package, which includes a $51.6 billion Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill.



The JJIE Magazine

This new online magazine from the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) features stories, videos, and photography on issues pertinent to the juvenile justice field.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Webinar: A Five-Part Webinar Series on Evidence Based Practices for People Involved the Criminal Justice System

Hosted by SAMSHA, this five-part webinar series will provide updates on the following topics: forensic assertive community treatment, employment for individuals with mental illnesses involved in the criminal justice system, illness management and recovery, integrating mental health and substance abuse services for people with co-occurring disorders involved in criminal justice system, and risk-needs-responsivity and cognitive-behavioral interventions.


Juvenile Justice Resource Hub Adds Racial-Ethnic Fairness Section

Developed by the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and the National Juvenile Justice Network, the Juvenile Justice Resource Hub has added a new section on racial-ethnic fairness. This section addresses racial and ethnic disparities, provides information on racial-ethnic fairness and the [...]



Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Applicants

On January 24, 2013, the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) released Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) grant applications. On February 19, 2013, the Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center) hosted a webinar [...]


Engaging and Involving Families of Justice-Involved Youth

This webinar, presented by the CSG Justice Center, features practical approaches to increasing and improving family engagement and involvement in the juvenile justice system. With support from the MacArthur Foundation, the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice has [...]


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

National Behavioral Health Barometer: United States, 2013

This publication from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides data about key indicators of behavioral health problems including rates of serious mental illness, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, underage drinking, and the percentages of those who seek treatment for these disorders.

The Sentencing Project

State of Sentencing 2013: Developments in Policy and Practice

The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with some 7.2 million Americans under correctional supervision. During 2013, legislators in at least 31 states adopted 47 criminal justice policies that may help to reduce the prison population, improve juvenile justice outcomes, and eliminate the barriers that marginalize people with criminal records.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings

This report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration presents the results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug and Health. It provides detailed tables of the national estimates on the prevalence of mental disorders and mental health service use among youth and adults.

Center for Health & Justice at TASC

No Entry: A National Survey of Criminal Justice Diversion Programs and Initiatives

This report from the Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities’ Center for Health and Justice (CHJ) provides the results of a national survey of criminal justice diversion programs, focusing on strategies and lessons learned for reducing recidivism, improving health interventions, and achieving public cost savings.

2012 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released its 2012 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) data and documentation files, which are available for download and online analysis.

Recent headlines

New Lucas County Jail Plan Addresses Mental Health

A proposal to construct a new Lucas County jail wouldn’t just include a larger facility that would house more inmates — it would be accompanied by a community plan to treat mentally ill inmates and those with substance-abuse problems.

Drug Court Graduates Do Well, Statistics Show

Hall County’s drug court program is an alternative to incarceration for drug offenders. Successful completion ensures there is never a conviction on their record.

NY Proceeds with Closing 4 Prisons

New York is proceeding with closing of four prisons this summer while lawmakers have imposed a two-year moratorium on further closings after that.

In New Step to Fight Recidivism, Attorney General Holder Announces Justice Department to Require Federal Halfway Houses to Boost Treatment Services for Inmates Prior to Release

In a new step to further the Justice Department’s efforts towards enhancing reentry among formerly incarcerated individuals, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) will impose new requirements on federal halfway houses that help inmates transition back into society.

Drug courts making a much needed comeback

Massachusetts’ Governor Patrick recently proposed funding to a new set of legal resources designed to address these issues. Drug Courts that have existed in various forms for many years just received support for five new courts in the Commonwealth. These “Problem Solving Courts” are staffed with social workers and other treatment professionals who work with probation officers and judges to structure necessary treatment programs for those who, because of their illness, are not currently capable of engaging in these programs themselves.