What are the effects of treatment programs and how do these programs assist the rate of recidivism?
According to Steadman and Naples (2005), 11.4 million people are booked within the United States prison system annually and of that, it is estimated that seven percent have been diagnosed with a serious mental disorder as well. Treatment programs have been previously scrutinized however; studies have shown that relapses and recommitting of criminal acts by substance abusers is common during the first 90 days after prison release (Hiller, Knight, & Simpson, 1999). Therefore, treatment programs in accordance with aftercare can successfully lead to a decrease in reusing illicit drugs or substance abuse. In order to reduce the rate of recidivism, programs have been created within public and private operated prison systems that are aimed at particular offenses or for offenders such as sex offenders, violent criminals, and drug and alcohol abusers. In order to asses an offenders need for these treatment programs psychologist, social workers, and prison staff are all involved. Hiller (1999), suggest that the main type of treatment program adapted within the United States prison system is the “In-prison Therapeutic Community”. This particular program sole intent is to house prisoners receiving treatment for drug and alcohol abuse separately from the general population throughout the prison. According to Hiller (1999), this programs foremost goal or function is to operate differently by adhering to stricter treatment protocols enhanced values and beliefs and to increase the functionality of the staff. They should also have shorter treatment durations and give emphasis to “self-help recovery and relapse prevention.” Hiller (2009), states that drugs and crimes are interrelated and that within the United States, over 68% of new arrestees test positive for illegal drugs; as the levels of illicit drug use increase as does the percentage of drug distribution and other serious crimes increase, some of the offenses associated with these arrests are drug trafficking, possession, and many other drug related offenses. Recent estimates suggest that as many as 80% of prisoners housed within state and federal prisons as well as local jails may have problems with alcohol or illicit drugs, therefore forcing correctional institutions to spend more of its budget to house substance abuse inmates (Hiller et al., 1999). However, during recent years has posed a tremendous influx of programs designed to not only assist offenders inflicted with substance abuse but cater to those that suffer with mental illness and related substance abuse disorders. These particular programs are supported throughout with federal funding. A primary focus amongst these programs is to divert particular offenders from serving jail or prison terms but community based treatment programs instead; these programs range from diverting offenders prior to the initial booking process or the initial filing of chargers to the post arrest and booking process (Steadman et al., 2005).
Many have questioned the use of treatment programs not only due to the funding involved but to the ideology that noting within the correctional realm worked however, according to recent and previous studies conducted on the effectiveness of treatment programs have led to the suggestion that providing adequate treatment programs for offenders can lead to increased favorable parole outcomes; whilst recent studies have found these findings to be true and included accurate evaluations of various programs throughout the united states. According to Hiller et. al (1999), early studies on states such as Delaware and California proved that substance-abuse programs within the prison system in conjunction with treatment after incarceration has led to reductions in recidivism. The Delaware Key-Crest program represented a 3 step treatment program that solely identified substance abusers, followed by their...
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