More than two-thirds of state drug offenders released from prison were re-arrested within five years, compared to 41.9% of federal drug trafficking offenders released from jail during the same five-year period. Barnstable has been offering the drug Vivitrol to inmates who leave for almost four years, and during that period, the recidivism rate among Vivitrol recipients was 9%. This is significantly lower than the national rate of new arrests for drug offenders of 77% within five years of their release, according to the Office of Justice Statistics. It is clear that the criminal justice system needs to implement a new strategy to help nonviolent drug offenders overcome their substance abuse problems.
The current system of incarcerating them, with little or no rehabilitation, is simply not sustainable. One such strategy is the use of medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat opioid use disorder. These medications have been shown to be much more effective in helping people stop drugs than counseling and group therapy programs that don't include medications. In addition, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been found to be effective in reducing recidivism and drug use in some studies. CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps people identify and change negative thinking patterns and behaviors.
It can be used to help people with substance abuse problems learn how to manage their cravings and make better decisions. Data on incarceration included offenders in state and federal centers; federal drug-related offenders were assigned to state charges based on the location of the federal district court in which they were sentenced. To measure whether there is a relationship between drug incarceration rates and state drug-related problems, Pew performed a simple regression test. The findings of this review highlight treatment with XR-NRT before and after release for opioid users as a potential protective factor against relapse and drug overdose in the first critical weeks after release, and the need for additional trials with inmate populations that use opioids. We provide a comprehensive and important evidence-based update for drug and alcohol interventions in prisons, based on the findings of the review, and we identified the most effective treatments for this vulnerable population. While long prison terms for drug offenders have demonstrated a poor return on taxpayer investment, alternatives such as drug courts and tighter community oversight have proven to be more effective. Rehabilitation is about ending the cycle of recidivism, which will otherwise continue to place the burden on the prison system and on American taxpayers.