Substance Abuse Committee Focuses on Treatment to Reduce Recidivism
Ogburn, Kevin R., Corrections Today
ACA's Substance Abuse Committee works to bring substance abuse issues to the forefront in corrections, and for the past year has focused on the treatment of chemical dependency as a way of reducing recidivism.
Since the 1993 Winter Conference, the committee's biggest project has been developing a report on the continuum of care for substance abusers. The report includes a one-page chart that indicates which treatments should be provided by which types of institutions and programs to treat substance abusers most effectively. The report also offers information on assessment and several pages describing how to use the information on the continuum. The report urges all corrections programs to treat all affected offenders.
"Several studies indicate that up to 80 percent of offenders abuse drugs and alcohol," said Committee Chairwoman Laura Bedard, instructor at Florida State University's School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. "If they are not treated, our efforts in corrections are futile."
When the report is completed, the committee may ask the Board of Governors to adopt its recommendations as a resolution or may approach ACA's Standards and Accreditation Division to adopt them as an ACA standard. The committee also will make the report available to interested individuals, according to Bedard. Another resource committee members hope to create is a monograph on substance abuse, offering an overview of treatment modalities, how they work and who to contact for more information on each one. …