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

Megan Quattlebaum Named Director of the CSG Justice Center

Megan Quattlebaum Named Director of the CSG Justice Center

The Council of State Governments (CSG) recently announced that Megan Quattlebaum, research scholar in law at Yale University Law School and lecturer in law at Columbia University Law School, will be the next director of The CSG Justice Center.

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Ronald Forbes

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Ronald Forbes

A 55-year-old U.S. Army veteran, Ronald Forbes is on the brink of expanding his Oakland, California-based catering company in partnership with his sister, Catherine. Soon, he’ll move the business to a commercial space, but for now he’s practicing his recipes for barbecue chicken, ribs, and his mom’s potato salad at home.

Second Chance Act Participant Spotlight: Sharon Hadley, Harris County, Texas

Second Chance Act Participant Spotlight: Sharon Hadley, Harris County, Texas

When Sharon Hadley arrived at Santa Maria Hostel in July 2012, she had just completed the latest in her decade-long string of sentences for drug-related offenses. “Now that I look back over my life, I can see how the wheels started coming off even before I really knew it,” Hadley said. “I recidivated 13 times. Each incarceration was longer and longer, and I was more and more hopeless.”

North Dakota Allocates M for Addiction Treatment and Passes Bills to Help Reduce Prison Population Growth

North Dakota Allocates $7M for Addiction Treatment and Passes Bills to Help Reduce Prison Population Growth

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed legislation on April 21 that enables the state to appropriate $7 million from the general fund to increase the quality of community-based behavioral health treatment for people in the criminal justice system and an additional half a million dollars to increase the number of treatment providers to serve this population, which can significantly reduce recidivism and improve public health outcomes.

Announcements

Webinars

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program and Budget

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program and Budget

In this webinar, staff from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and The Council of State Governments Justice Center review information for Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program applicants and grantees on the grant management and budget process.

Building and Implementing Research Partnerships

Building and Implementing Research Partnerships

This webinar reviews effective methods for building and implementing a research partnership, with a particular emphasis on agencies that have recently established a new research partnership or are planning on starting a research partnership.

How Victim Advocacy Improves the Work of Reentry Staff

How Victim Advocacy Improves the Work of Reentry Staff

In this webinar, two victim services reentry professionals from corrections departments discuss victim service programming for agencies and organizations that work with people in the criminal justice system.

2016 JMHCP Grantee Orientation Webinar

In this webinar, CSG Justice Center staff explain the training and technical assistance opportunities and resources available to grantees. Staff from the Bureau of Justice Assistance will also participate and provide an overview of the post-award grant management requirements.

Developing Sustainability, Success Stories from the Field

Developing Sustainability, Success Stories from the Field

Grant funding often provides seed money to help agencies launch new programs. However, once the grant has expended, finding additional funds to sustain a program can be challenging. This webinar discusses how other funding streams can be leveraged, and partnerships developed, to help sustain a program.

Publications

Addiction Resource Center

Addiction Resource Center

This new online portal from the Addiction Policy Forum is designed to help individuals and families struggling with addiction find comprehensive information and resources.

Jails: Inadvertent Health Care Providers

Jails: Inadvertent Health Care Providers

This report from The Pew Charitable Trusts explores how jails administer their health care programs and whether these programs further county public health and safety goals.

Opioids: Treating an Illness, Ending a War

Opioids: Treating an Illness, Ending a War

This report from The Sentencing Project discusses the need for a public health response to the current drug crisis, offering recommendations for policymakers, including the use of medication-assisted treatment.

Model Programs Guide

Model Programs Guide

This online resource from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention contains information about evidence-based juvenile justice and youth prevention, intervention, and reentry programs.

Reforming Criminal Justice

Reforming Criminal Justice

This four-volume report from the Academy for Justice at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law covers dozens of topics within the areas of criminalization, policing, pretrial and trial processes, punishment, incarceration, and release.

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in the Justice System

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in the Justice System

This fact sheet from the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence offers evidence-based arguments in support of using federally approved medications to treat opioid use disorders and offers policy and legal considerations related to the use of medication-assisted treatment.

Recent headlines

Rhode Island Found a Way to Cut Post-Prison Overdose Deaths in Half

A new study shows that by targeting people with opioid addiction who are leaving the state’s combined jail and prison, Rhode Island cut the death rate among this group by 61 percent within a year. Overall, between 2016 and 2017, the state saw a 12 percent decline in overdose deaths.

New Program Provides Drug Treatment, Job Training for Youth

Daybreak’s new facility houses employment services and the Lindy & Company gourmet pet treats bakery, which is staffed and operated by homeless young people. In the lower level, YouthBuild has a lab to teach young people the building trades.

Incarceration and Mental Illness

Aided by a national initiative aimed at reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in jails, the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board and local providers have partnered to provide additional services to inmates with mental illnesses.

Peer Support Helps Those in Grip of Addiction

There are many different faces of addiction, which is often coupled with a mental illness. To help people struggling with substance use disorders, treatment providers are increasingly looking to peer specialists to share their unique stories of recovery and, in turn, help others dealing with addiction.

Justice Success Story: How Illinois Cut Its Prison Population

There has been a policy shift towards probation as the preferred disposition in non-violent criminal cases. The move to provide defendants with several chances to succeed before sending them to prison has the support of all levels of the local justice system, including the judiciary

Native American, Rural Women Hit Hardest by Opioid Crisis, Experts Say

The risk is heightened for Native American women, who face a long history of oppression and abuse, turning to opioids as a form of pain management, and for women in rural areas, who have limited access to drug treatment programs, the experts said at a webinar organized by the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health.

Tennessee Governor Touts $30M Plan to Fight Opioid Epidemic

A yet-to-be-released number of new state investigators would focus on opioid work, and 512 beds at a western Tennessee prison would be repurposed to help treat opioid addicts, doubling the number of those dedicated beds across the state prison system.