Treatment Programs for Prison Inmates

The need for adequate treatment measures has been established. Finally various treatment measures that can be incorporated by authorities to ensure rehabilitation of inmates with addiction have been identified and evaluated.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-1V) refers to brain altering substances as ‘substances’ and to the related disorders as ‘substance-related disorders'(1994, p174). The DSM – IV indicates that the term substance refers to a drug of abuse, a medication, or a toxin. The word substance is generally preferable to the word drug because the term drug refers to manufactured chemicals while many of the substances associated with abuse patterns occur naturally (opium) or are not meant for human consumption (phenyl). Here it is vital to differentiate between substance abuse and substance dependence.
Substance dependence: This is loosely termed as addiction to alcohol as well as other addictive substances (such as opium, marijuana, cocaine etc). It is a reversible state and the person starts craving the substance under stress, life changes, or a low/depressed mood.
Substance abuse: On the other hand, substance abuse is much more serious, wherein the individual becomes tolerant of the substance and needs an increasing amount to reach an inebriated state. An abuser will also face withdrawal symptoms in which state it becomes close to impossible to function normally in the absence of the substance.
The life span of the typical addict is about 12 years shorter than the average citizen, and alcohol now ranks as the third major cause of death in the United States (Kaplan and Saddock, 1989, p. 391).
This research has a two pronged objective:
To study the link between criminal activity and substance abuse
To examine the various treatment programs available for prison inmates with a history of alcohol and drug abuse
Increasing crime rates, overpopulated prisons, and few measures taken towards the prevention of crime are major concerns over the world, particularly in countries such as the USA where the crime rate is significantly high.
A large number of prison inmates are for the most part substance abusers and there is a close link between substance abuse and crime. In many instances, substance abuse can also be seen as the catalyst that triggers criminal activity. Keeping this in mind, controlling substance abuse in this group in an attempt to decrease crime rates would eventually bring about a significant social change.
Identifying and implementing effective treatment programs for prison inmates is therefore a necessary and important step in the overall prevention of crime.
Research design
This is an exploratory study using an Ex-Post Facto Design.
Literature Review
Sarah Liriano and Malcolm Ramsay in 2000 attempted to measure prisoners’ drug use prior to their prison term as a possible benchmark against which effectiveness of the Prison Service drugs strategy could be monitored. The data from the Criminality Survey showed that (73%) of respondents had used an illegal drug in the twelve months before