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

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Salt Lake County Launches Study of Criminal Justice System

The Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC) today announced plans for a comprehensive analysis of Salt Lake County’s jail population in an effort to identify ways to reduce reoffense rates among people released from jail and design strategies to improve outcomes for the large portion of the jail population struggling with mental and/or substance use disorders.

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BJA Director Delivers Statement at Senate Hearing on Law Enforcement Responses to Americans with Mental Illnesses and Disabilities

At the April 29th hearing—“Law Enforcement Responses to Disabled Americans: Promising Approaches for Protecting Public Safety”—Director Denise O’Donnell of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) delivered statements about the department’s support for evidence-based practices and promising interventions for individuals with mental illnesses and/or disabilities who are involved with the justice system.

Announcements

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California Counties Reentry Fellowship Announced

This unique position will focus on documenting how California’s counties are addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by the state’s prison realignment and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and sharing “lessons learned” and best practices for the benefit of all of California’s counties.

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Juvenile Justice Resource Hub Gets Evidence-Based Practices Section

The Juvenile Justice Resource Hub, developed by the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and the National Juvenile Justice Network, has added a new resource section addressing key issues and reform trends related to evidence-based practices, which includes model policies, recent research, and links to key resources and experts.

Webinars

Publications

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KnowBullying

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has developed a free smartphone app that provides parents, caretakers, educators, and others with information and support to address youth bullying.

Recent headlines

21 Bills Target Drug Abuse Unveiled by NJ Lawmakers

After more than a year of behind-the-scenes work, State Sen. Joe Vitale (D-Woodbrige) is scheduled to unveil a 21-bill package Wednesday aimed at addressing New Jersey’s growing heroin and prescription drug abuse problem.

Editorial: Second Chance Grants Should Be Extended

Congress has helped states pay for programs with grants issued through the Second Chance Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that indicated politicians in Washington finally realized that locking up people for long periods does not by itself transform criminals into productive members of society.

CBO: Drug Sentencing Reform Saves $4B

Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) announced that their bill to reform nonviolent drug sentencing would reduce prison costs by more than $4 billion.

Wyoming Adult Drug Court Leading Way

Wyoming County is one of the first counties to institute an adult drug court program due to the efforts of McGraw, according to officials.

Juvenile-Justice Reforms Show Results, Officials Say

Sweeping changes in how misbehaving youths are treated have reduced the number of teens requiring lock-up, saved taxpayers money and show signs of helping produce productive adults, according to officials.

Prison Firm CCA Seeks to Reduce Number of Repeat Offenders

The nation’s largest private prison company is shifting its focus toward helping release more inmates and keep them out—a reaction, company officials say, to changing policies around the country on the severity of criminal punishment.

Understand the “Vermont Model” Mayor Myrick Wants for Ithaca Police

A program that started with one “street outreach” worker 15 years ago is evolving rapidly, and has grown now to six-and-a-half positions, two-and-a-half of them embedded in the police department. It is that program that Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick referred to in his recent set of proposals for improving police relations and effectiveness in the community.

Survey: Most Calif. Counties Helping Inmates Enroll in Health Plans

The majority of California counties have begun enrolling inmates and individuals on probation in health coverage, according to a recent survey by Californians for Safety and Justice, Capital Public Radio’s “KXJZ News” reports (Bartolone, “KXJZ News,” Capital Public Radio, 9/8).