Treatment teaches people with substance use disorders the nature of their addiction. Offering drug-related offenders the option to attend rehabilitation promotes the recovery of those most at risk. People who have been detained often face two very different treatment centers. They can get the help they need in the community through a treatment program, or they can go to jail or jail, where treatment must be provided.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these addiction treatment centers. Understanding the differences and similarities is helpful for families in this situation. While some charges carry very long prison terms, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School reports that most possession sentences last longer than a year. When people enter the prison system, they are examined by a medical officer.
This test helps staff understand the conditions for which the person needs treatment. The exams also offer a level of protection for prison staff. A person who has a condition at the time of ingestion cannot subsequently claim that the condition began due to incarceration. It's hard to overstate how harmful this can be.
People who are physically ill due to abstinence may lose their lives as brain cells and body cells adapt to the lack of substances they once took. Once abstinence is complete, these people can fight drug cravings that are overwhelming and difficult to control without professional help. They may not have the coping skills to help them deal with their cravings, since they haven't received any type of therapy. Medications can, and are often available, in prisons.
Without therapy, people can continue to consume in prison. When prison addiction programs are properly designed and implemented, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, they can generate staggering benefits. The agency says that people who leave these programs cause fewer problems while in prison and, when released, tend to avoid recidivism. In describing a program used to treat people in prison, the office describes counseling programs that use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
This therapy helps people change the way they think about the world, as well as the way they react to their world, and that can have a big impact on reducing relapses. These are the types of therapy techniques that wouldn't be unusual in the private sector. But sadly, these are not techniques used in all prisons. It's important to give people the right therapy at the right time.
In a study on young people published in the journal Criminal Justice and Behavior, researchers found that addressing the specific needs of a person with treatment significantly reduced recidivism rates. When people get the help they need within the judicial system, they tend to avoid committing more crimes that would lead them back to jail or jail. This type of treatment, which is adapted to the person in need, works. However, treatment like this can be expensive.
While federal prisons may have more resources to provide care to prisoners, state facilities may not have the same high budget to help them provide care. Federal prisons may also face increased oversight from legislators and the wider community, so they may feel pressured to provide exceptional and irreproachable care. Smaller installations may not experience this level of pressure. In addition, people often believe that those who end up arrested did so because of their own poor choices, and should suffer the consequences.
Addictions carry a lot of stigma, and people don't always understand that addictions are formed because of chemical changes, not personal defects. Until that stigma wears off, people may continue to consider long periods in jail or prison without treatment to be a fair punishment for a drug-related crime. Prisons and jails are sterile environments, unknown to people who have never been asked to live in them. Incarceration allows people with addictions to get away from their lives, pressures and habits.
They are forced to completely renew themselves in a very different space. When they return home, they find their old lives, which may be tainted by abuse. A person who has just been released from jail or prison may not consider this, and during a relapse, the person may take an old, familiar dose of a medication. That previous dose is too high for the newly healed body and an overdose may occur.
People who know they must achieve sobriety or face some type of legal deterrence, including longer sentences or stricter levels of incarceration, tend to take the treatment mandate seriously. However, that doesn't mean that treatment should be provided in a prison or jail. People in recovery are urged to look for ways to live healthy and active lives, and that remains true whether they are released from jail or from a formal treatment program. Unfortunately, there are some unique challenges that people face after leaving prison that could make it difficult to build an active life.
The NAACP reports that a criminal record can reduce the likelihood of a job offer or a return of work by nearly 50%. This means that people who are released from prison may struggle to get the work they need to support their families, and the pressure they might feel due to poverty could be a major trigger for a relapse. Financial problems could even push some people to return to selling drugs. While it may be interesting to compare treatment success in the community or in prison, people facing drug charges are often unable to choose treatment locations.
They are accused, the courts make a decision and go where they are told to go. Going to jail can be a scary idea for anyone, and sometimes there's little or no time to prepare for the experience. But people who have lengthy court cases and lengthy sentences can prepare physically and emotionally for incarceration. For people with addictions, it can be tempting to prepare to go to jail with a last dose of alcohol, drugs, or both.
Prisons generally don't allow these substances and it may seem attractive to use them while the person still can. When used in high doses, addictive substances can cause very serious health problems, including death. Continued use may lead to the need for medical detoxification, something that some prisons don't offer. Going to prison or jail while intoxicated could also result in additional charges if the substances used are considered illegal.
Zoukis Prisoner Resources suggests researching the policies and procedures of the prison to which the person will be sent. This is especially important for people with alcohol or opioid addictions. These people may need intensive medical detoxification to stay sober and, if the prison does not provide those services, it would be wise for the person to undergo medical detoxification in the community before the sentence begins. It is also useful to know if the prison offers any type of addiction support counseling and what methods are used.
This can help people know what to expect from the treatment they can receive. Mother Jones recommends working on the ego. People under pressure and stress can act proudly and aggressively to mask their pain, but aggression and imprisonment tend to bring disastrous results. Remembering that the sentence will pass may help.
A study published in the journal City also suggests that men may be more prepared for jail than they thought. Schools can be full of harassing behavior and often involve very strict rules followed by people who aren't very interested in following the rules. Remembering that a situation like school has survived before could help people cope with dark days. To help prepare for sobriety after release, people can talk to their drug dealers, drug-using friends, and other colleagues to tell them that they are going to prison and plan to come out sober.
These talks could help those who abuse their peers see the very real consequences of addiction, and that could help them consider sobriety as well. Finally, it's never a bad idea to meet with a counselor to discuss addiction and recovery. Even one or two sessions before incarceration begins could help generate ideas that can be encouraged and used while in prison. Some counselors may be willing to exchange letters to discuss ideas, and others may be willing to suggest books and other printed resources that can be accessed through the prison library.
Getting that base of support now before sentencing begins could save lives. But addictions also occur on a spectrum. Some people have very serious symptoms, while others simply don't. People who abuse drugs can now be influenced to stop using and abusing them if they consider what life in prison might be like.
They can also be carried away by messages of love and support from family members they trust. Drug rehabilitation can serve as an alternative to incarceration for drug offenders accused of nonviolent crimes. Drug treatment can help lower crime rates, improve recovery outcomes, and save taxpayers money that would otherwise be spent incarcerating people. On the other hand, following a state drug court program or entering a drug rehabilitation center by court order can be a productive alternative.
While people who are offered the opportunity to go to rehabilitation as a way to reduce their sentence often do so reluctantly, they can still benefit from the treatment they receive. First, most addicts and alcoholics who come to rehab do so on a voluntary basis, so from the start, their treatment experience will be very different from that of incarceration. Addicts and alcoholics who go to rehab don't get a free “get out of jail” card simply because they have the disease of addiction. Although there is debate between rehabilitation and imprisonment, numerous studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of drug court programs in preventing continued alcohol and drug use and other criminal offenses.
That alone creates a very different environment than a prison environment, where guards and administrators enforce strict rules and schedules first and foremost and providing rehabilitation is secondary, if at all. You have the freedom to walk through the gardens and, in some rehabilitation centers, you can walk along trails, participate in activity therapy that will put you on a rope track, or spend time in a state-of-the-art gym. It is useful to consider how the two spaces have different advantages and disadvantages of rehabilitation in the criminal justice system. These programs give offenders with substance abuse problems the opportunity to start the path to recovery through rehabilitation instead of going to jail.
However, it's no surprise that people who are only familiar with drug and alcohol rehabilitation see such depictions and wonder, “Is rehabilitation like jail?. And what they usually find, when they enter treatment, is that, in general, rehabilitation centers are definitely different from prison. . .