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

A Message from The CSG Justice Center’s Executive Committee Chair and Vice-Chair

A Message from The CSG Justice Center’s Executive Committee Chair and Vice-Chair

The tragedies of the past week weigh heavily on us. As public safety officials in our respective states, we were outraged to see the very people working to protect the public murdered because of the uniform they wear. We also feel deeply for residents of communities who, because of the color of their skin, fear the people who have sworn an oath to protect them.

Franklin County, Salt Lake County Each Allocate Millions to Improve Local Jail Systems

Franklin County, Salt Lake County Each Allocate Millions to Improve Local Jail Systems

Two counties—one in Ohio, the other in Utah—are backing their words with action following separate reports from The Council of State Governments Justice Center that highlighted major disparities in the length of time people with serious mental illnesses stay in each county’s local jail and the rate at which they’re rearrested following their release compared to people with out these illnesses.

Announcements

Mack Jenkins Joins CSG Justice Center as Senior Policy Advisor for Justice Reinvestment

Mack Jenkins Joins CSG Justice Center as Senior Policy Advisor for Justice Reinvestment

On May 25, the CSG Justice Center welcomed Mack Jenkins to its Justice Reinvestment team as a senior policy advisor. In his new role, Mr. Jenkins will leverage his nearly 40 years of criminal justice experience to assist supervision agencies in states across the country in adopting best practices to reduce recidivism and increase public safety.

Richard Cho to Join CSG Justice Center as Behavioral Health Division Director

Richard Cho to Join CSG Justice Center as Behavioral Health Division Director

On May 9, The CSG Justice Center will welcome Richard Cho to its staff as director of the national nonprofit’s Behavioral Health division. In this role, Mr. Cho will lead all initiatives related to The CSG Justice Center’s behavioral health work, which is designed to improve public safety outcomes, reduce the overrepresentation of people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders in the criminal justice system, and promote recovery for this population.

Webinars

Medication Assisted Treatment in Jails and Community-Based Settings

Medication Assisted Treatment in Jails and Community-Based Settings

This webinar is designed for Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program and Second Chance Act Reentry Program for Adults with Co-occurring Substance Use and Mental Disorders grantees and features speakers from three different grant programs that are utilizing MAT in jail and community-based settings for people involved in the justice system.

Sharing Information between Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Systems

Sharing Information between Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Systems

This webinar was presented to Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program and Second Chance Act Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Disorders grantees discussed strategies for developing information sharing collaborations between criminal justice and behavioral health systems.

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

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.

Publications

Engagement: A New Standard for Mental Health Care

Engagement: A New Standard for Mental Health Care

To explore how the quality of relationships and interactions affect outcomes for people with mental illness and their families, the National Alliance on Mental Illness worked to better understand the process of engagement in mental health care.

National Survey of Prison Health Care: Selected Findings

National Survey of Prison Health Care: Selected Findings

This report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics presents selected findings on the provision of health care services in U.S. state prisons based on a survey of state departments of corrections and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Indiana’s Justice Reinvestment Journey

In this article from the Spring 2016 edition of Executive Exchange, Linda Brady recounts the justice reinvestment process in Indiana, which has involved overhauling the state’s criminal code over the course of several years, appropriating $55 million in funding for grant programs for technology-based programs and substance use and mental health treatment and services, and establishing a Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council to oversee progress.

Behavioral Health Barometer, 2015

These reports present data about key aspects of substance use and mental health care issues, and provide a unique overview of behavioral health.

Recent headlines

Trying times, bright spots at corrections

A study by the Council of State Governments indicates that Nebraska could reduce recidivism by providing more access to programs. A report from the organization’s Justice Center said the state currently misses opportunities to identify risks and needs of inmates and to target program resources accordingly. About a third of inmates with one year of parole eligibility are not getting parole hearings because they have not finished programming, or don’t have access to programs.

A plan for Arkansas to get more out of the money it spends on corrections

Arkansas’s prison population is among the fastest growing in the country. The state now spends more than half of a billion dollars on corrections, a 68 percent increase since 2004, and our prison population, which increased by 21 percent between 2012 and 2016, is expected to rise by another 19 percent between 2016 and 2023 to 21,345.

There Are More Women in U.S. Jails Than Ever Before

Since 1970, the female jail population has increased 14 times, surging from under 8,000 to nearly 110,000, according to a report released Wednesday from the Vera Institute of Justice and the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge.

Women in Jail Are Fastest Growing Segment of America’s Incarcerated Population

While jails have been rightly recognized as a driver of mass incarceration, Swavola said, women are often left out of the national conversation because they comprise only a small percentage of the incarcerated population as a whole. But women’s pathways to incarceration are different than their male counterparts, she explained, and deserve to be investigated closely.

Improved Expungement Laws, More Funding Needed Moving Forward

Over the past few years, West Virginia officials have created a number of initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic and to provide addiction treatment options, such as the Justice Reinvestment Act and Help-4-WV. But according to state leaders many additional measures must be taken, such as improved expungement laws for nonviolent felons, acceptance of medication-assisted treatment programs and increased funding for treatment centers.