Drug Treatment behind Bars: Prison-Based Strategies for Change

Drug Treatment behind Bars: Prison-Based Strategies for Change

Drug Treatment behind Bars: Prison-Based Strategies for Change

Drug Treatment behind Bars: Prison-Based Strategies for Change

Synopsis

In the last 15 years, the prison population in the U.S. increased by more than 188 percent. The increase has been fueled largely by increases in the number of individuals convicted of drug-related offenses. These offenders constitute a disproportionate number of recidivists who, in turn, are responsible for a relatively large proportion of criminal activity in our society. The vast majority of these offenders were arrested for committing violent crimes, and most of the offenders are poor, unemployed, uneducated, come from dysfunctional families, and are African-American. Contrary to public opinion, many of these offenders are tired of their "revolving door" relationship with the police, courts, and correctional institutions. However, without appropriate social and therapeutic support, there is little hope of altering their behavior. This volume seeks to address specific issues relevant to prisons in America and includes contributions by practitioners in the field of prison-based drug treatment and therapy programs. The work is an important contribution to the literature examining the extent to which rehabilitation (i.e., prison-based drug treatment programs) has effectively reduced recidivism, drug relapse, and violent crime in our society.

Excerpt

The "rehabilitative ideal" caught hold in the U.S. correctional system in the twentieth century and, following World War II, reigned supreme until the 1970s. However, that ideal came under attack as ill conceived in theory and ineffective in practice, as undermining civil liberties while fostering an expensive system of unequal punishment masquerading as humanitarian treatment. By the 1980s the get-tough philosophy of mandatory and determinate sentencing to longer terms for purposes of incapacitation had become the dominant theme in penal policy. However, educational, vocational, individual, and group counseling programs for a range of offenders have remained in operation in all correctional systems in the country. Moreover, an increasing number of these programs are designed specifically to deal with alcohol or drug abuse, spurred on by the steady increase in the proportions of the criminal justice population who are abusers or have been convicted for drug law violations.

The problem of drugs in U.S. society and its close link to the crime problem is well documented by research and well known to the public. Drug and alcohol behavior have been the subject of intense theoretical and empirical attention by sociologists, psychologists, pharmacologists, and other social and behavioral scientists for decades. The question of what policies, programs, or strategies are effective and just in a democratic society has been at or near the top of our public agenda for at least three decades. In the twentieth century attempted and proposed solutions to the problem of use and abuse of illegal drugs have ranged from waging all-out "war on drugs" through relentless law enforcement to controlling . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.