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

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

Congress Sends First Major Opioids Bill to Obama’s Desk

The Senate recently approved a bill aimed at fighting opioid addiction, reaching the finish line on legislation that’s likely to be one of Congress’s top achievements this year. With the 92-2 vote, the bill now heads to President Obama’s desk after nearly a year of negotiations.

Opioid Bill Passes House by Vote of 407-5

The most comprehensive legislation to date aimed at combating the country’s opioid addiction epidemic passed overwhelmingly in the House on Friday.

Mental Health Reform Bill Overwhelmingly Clears House of Representatives

The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, introduced by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), a licensed child psychologist, would potentially address a nationwide shortage of psychiatric beds and child psychiatrists, in addition to creating the federal position of assistant secretary for mental health and substance use disorders.

Baltimore Takes a Wider View of Public Health

Historically focused on disease outbreaks, restaurant inspections and disaster preparedness, more city and county health agencies are starting to tackle issues surrounding population health that include gun violence and drug addiction.

Expanding Treatment in Correctional Facilities Can Save Lives and Reduce Recidivism

On June 17, the White House hosted a discussion with key representatives from correctional facilities, professional associations, and state and local governments about expanding access to treatment to more justice-involved individuals so they can successfully reenter society and live healthier, more productive lives.

Mental Health Courts Seek Better Outcomes

Mental Health Courts Seek Better Outcomes

“The first mental health court program in the country started in 1997,” said Dougherty County Superior Court Judge Steve Goss. “Dougherty County started in 2001, so we were kind of at the front end of it.”

An All-In Response to the Opioid Crisis

An All-In Response to the Opioid Crisis

By its own calculations, this city of 50,000 on the Ohio River has the highest drug overdose death rate in a state ranked No. 1 in the nation for overdose deaths. The city’s overdose death rate, at 119 per 100,000 last year, is nearly 10 times the national rate.

Opinion: Push Is on to Reduce Incarceration in Champaign County While Also Providing Meaningful Reentry Options for Adults with Mental Illness

Call it what you will—jail overcrowding, criminal justice reform, a mental health crisis in our jails, mass incarceration or chronic recidivism. All have been the subject of discussions both nationally and locally. The simple fact is there are too many people in our jails and prisons who do not need to be there. As a society, we pay a high cost for poor outcomes.

Enforcement of Mental Health Care Coverage Lacking

It has been eight years since Congress passed a law requiring health insurers to provide Americans suffering from mental illness or substance abuse disorders with coverage for treatment that’s comparable to what they would get if they were physically sick. So far, that promise has largely not been met, many mental health advocates say.