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

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

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

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.

Improving Outcomes for Court-Involved Youth with Co-Occurring Disorders

Improving Outcomes for Court-Involved Youth with Co-Occurring Disorders

This webinar provides an overview of three briefs that were recently published by National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges on the treatment of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders among youth.

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.

Municipal Courts: An Effective Tool for Diverting People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders from the Criminal Justice System

Municipal Courts: An Effective Tool for Diverting People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders from the Criminal Justice System

This report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration examines the opportunities and challenges associated with municipal court diversion, and outlines elements for effective practice: identification and screening; court-based clinician; recovery-engagement strategies; and proportional response.

Recent headlines

National Prevention Month Campaign Wraps up with Tour of Reentry Program

In a collaborative effort, the Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board in Local Development Area 12 has partnered with the Dyer County Sheriff’s Office to establish a specialized Tennessee Career Center on the campus of the Dyer County Correction Works Center. Opened in 2015, the center is designed to house up to 35 male inmates, while also providing counseling on relapse prevention, drug and alcohol education, and socialization.

NY Gov. Cuomo: Give Medicaid to Inmates Prior to Release

The Democratic governor says too many inmates leave prison with serious mental health and addiction challenges and that helping them get the care they need improves their chances of successfully re-entering society.

HHS Acts to Help More Ex-Inmates Get Medicaid

Administration officials moved Thursday to improve low Medicaid enrollment for emerging prisoners, urging states to start signups before release and expanding eligibility to thousands of former inmates in halfway houses near the end of their sentences.

New Medicaid Guidance Improves Access to Health Care for Justice-Involved Americans Reentering Their Communities

The new Medicaid guidance updates decades-old policy and clarifies that individuals who are currently on probation, parole or in home confinement are not considered inmates of a public institution. It also extends coverage to Medicaid-eligible individuals living in community halfway houses where they have freedom of movement, improving access to care for as many as 96,000 individuals in Medicaid expansion states over the course of the year.

A Summit on the Mentally Ill in U.S. Jails

Amid growing recognition that large numbers of U.S. jail inmates suffer from mental health problems, three major organizations have gathered teams from 50 places in Washington, D.C., to plan a detailed attack on the problem.

Study Links Short Prison Sentences to Early Death

Serving time in prison — even brief sentences of less than a year — can cause long-term health effects and lead to earlier deaths, according to new research on the health impacts of incarceration.