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Today, many criminal justice policies and practices have closed the door to opportunity. Whole communities suffer opportunity losses when large segments of residents are involved in the criminal justice system. Get the facts on how the criminal justice system is creating barriers to opportunity for millions of Americans.
Center for Impact Research;
Commissioned by the Developing Justice Coalition, this report examines alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug offenses. The report discusses the potential cost savings and the social benefits of sentencing nonviolent drug offenders to mandated substance abuse treatment and intensive community supervision instead of prison.
Sentencing Project, The;
A new major study disproving the popular belief that there exists a growing methamphetamine "epidemic" within the United States. 41 pages
Justice Policy Institute;
The Substance Abuse Treatment and Public Safety brief found that the sooner substance abuse is treated, the bigger the long-term cost savings and increases in public safety. At a time when some have raised concerns about the release of people convicted of drug offenses from federal prison due to U.S. Sentencing Commission reforms, the research shows that substance abuse treatment helps individuals transition successfully from the criminal justice system to the community. The policy brief -- the last in a series that examines the impact of positive social investments on public safety -- found that: Increases in admissions to substance abuse treatment are associated with reductions in crime rates. Admissions to drug treatment increased 37.4 percent and federal spending on drug treatment increased 14.6 percent from 1995 to 2005. During the same period, violent crime fell 31.5 percent. In California, where Proposition 36 diverted thousands of people from prison and jail to treatment, violent crime fell at a rate that exceeded the national average. Increased admissions to drug treatment are associated with reduced incarceration rates. States with a higher drug treatment admission rate than the national average send, on average, 100 fewer people to prison per 100,000 in the population than states that have lower than average drug treatment admissions. California, in particular, experienced decreases in incarceration rates when jurisdictions increased the number of people sent to drug treatment. Substance abuse treatment prior to contact with the justice system yields public safety benefits early on. Research has shown that drug treatment programs improve life outcomes for individuals and decreases the likelihood that a drug-involved person will be involved in the criminal justice system. Substance abuse treatment helps individuals transition successfully from the criminal justice system to the community. Community-based drug treatment programs reduce the chance that a person will become involved in the criminal justice system after release from prison. Substance abuse treatment is more cost-effective than prison or other punitive measures. The Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) found that community-based drug treatment is extremely beneficial in terms of cost, especially compared to prison. Every dollar spent on drug treatment in the community is estimated to return $18.52 in benefits to society in terms of reduced incarceration rates and associated crime costs to taxpayers.
Social IMPACT Research Center;
The Mid-America Institute on Poverty of Heartland Alliance was hired by the Supportive Housing Providers Association to study the impact of supportive housing on use of publicly funded services. In particular, the study focuses on the change in service use and the cost of services used by Illinois supportive housing residents 2 years before entering supportive housing and 2 years after. This study will inform policymakers, funders, and others about the importance and cost effectiveness of supportive housing in Illinois. The study began in January 2005 and will end with a final report in December 2008. This snapshot is the first report released on the study, analyzing data collected from residents at the time of study enrollment.
National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, The;
This report released by CASA and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) demonstrates how the high financial stakes for all involved in the Olympics, the explosion in performance-enhancing drugs and the lack of an effective policing system to detect the use of such drugs threaten the very integrity of the Olympic games. Because athletes are important role models for our children, the use of performance-enhancing drugs (a practice called doping in the international sports community) by Olympic athletes threatens the health of America's children, concludes this report of the CASA National Commission on Sports and Substance Abuse, chaired by Rev. Edward A. (Monk) Malloy, president of the University of Notre Dame.
National Coalition for the Homeless;
The relationship between homelessness and alcohol and drug addiction is quite controversial. While addictive disorders appear disproportionately among the homeless population, such disorders cannot, by themselves, explain the increase in homelessness. Most drug and alcohol addicts never become homeless. However, people who are poor and addicted are clearly at increased risk.
Carsey Institute, The;
This report, Substance Abuse in Rural and Small Town America, shows that rural and urban places today have similar rates of substance use and abuse, and, for abuse of some substances, rural Americans are at an even higher risk than their urban counterparts. For instance, rural youth are particularly at risk for substance abuse, and stimulant use among the unemployed is higher in rural America. The report makes it clear that rural America is not immune to "city" problems, but that rural people and places face unique challenges.
Despite some dire statistics, this report offers hope for rural communities struggling with an epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse that one person quoted in this report calls "an issue eating us alive." We offer recommendations for programs and policies that can make a real difference -- investments that work -- by drawing on the strengthsalready in place in rural areas. But the problem of substance abuse demands a multi-faceted approach.
John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development;
A survey of employers' attitudes regarding the prevalence of drugs in the workplace, how employee drug use impacts their firm, and the effectiveness of company policies to treat and prevent employee substance abuse.
On July 1, 2001, a nationwide law in Portugal took effect that decriminalized all drugs, including cocaine and heroin. Under the new legal framework, all drugs were "decriminalized," not "legalized." Thus, drug possession for personal use and drug usage itself are still legally prohibited, but violations of those prohibitions are deemed to be exclusively administrative violations and are removed completely from the criminal realm. Drug trafficking continues to be prosecuted as a criminal offense. While other states in the European Union have developed various forms of de facto decriminalization -- whereby substances perceived to be less serious (such as cannabis) rarely lead to criminal prosecution -- Portugal remains the only EU member state with a law explicitly declaring drugs to be "decriminalized." Because more than seven years have now elapsed since enactment of Portugal's decriminalization system, there are ample data enabling its effects to be assessed. Notably, decriminalization has become increasingly popular in Portugal since 2001. Except for some far-right politicians, very few domestic political factions are agitating for a repeal of the 2001 law. And while there is a widespread perception that bureaucratic changes need to be made to Portugal's decriminalization framework to make it more efficient and effective, there is no real debate about whether drugs should once again be criminalized. More significantly, none of the nightmare scenarios touted by preenactment decriminalization opponents -- from rampant increases in drug usage among the young to the transformation of Lisbon into a haven for "drug tourists" -- has occurred. The political consensus in favor of decriminalization is unsurprising in light of the relevant empirical data. Those data indicate that decriminalization has had no adverse effect on drug usage rates in Portugal, which, in numerous categories, are now among the lowest in the EU, particularly when compared with states with stringent criminalization regimes. Although postdecriminalization usage rates have remained roughly the same or even decreased slightly when compared with other EU states, drug-related pathologies -- such as sexually transmitted diseases and deaths due to drug usage -- have decreased dramatically. Drug policy experts attribute those positive trends to the enhanced ability of the Portuguese government to offer treatment programs to its citizens -- enhancements made possible, for numerous reasons, by decriminalization. This report will begin with an examination of the Portuguese decriminalization framework as set forth in law and in terms of how it functions in practice. Also examined is the political climate in Portugal both pre- and postdecriminalization with regard to drug policy, and the impetus that led that nation to adopt decriminalization. The report then assesses Portuguese drug policy in the context of the EU's approach to drugs. The varying legal frameworks, as well as the overall trend toward liberalization, are examined to enable a meaningful comparative assessment between Portuguese data and data from other EU states. The report also sets forth the data concerning drug-related trends in Portugal both pre- and postdecriminalization. The effects of decriminalization in Portugal are examined both in absolute terms and in comparisons with other states that continue to criminalize drugs, particularly within the EU. The data show that, judged by virtually every metric, the Portuguese decriminalization framework has been a resounding success. Within this success lie self-evident lessons that should guide drug policy debates around the world.
Research Center for Leadership in Action;
At the Triangle Residential Option for Substance Abusers (TROSA), a North Carolina residential treatment program, Executive Director Kevin McDonald and his colleagues have advanced a social entrepreneurial model for nearly a decade. In the process, they've built hundreds of active, engaged citizens, not just sober individuals.
Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS);
In 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reviewed evidence of the effectiveness of HIV prevention programs for injection drug users (IDUs) and recommended that three types of
interventions be implemented to prevent transmission of HIV among IDUs: 1) community-based outreach, 2) expanded syringe access (including needle exchange programs [NEP] and pharmacy sales), and 3) drug treatment. Progress on increasing the acceptance and feasibility of implementing these programs has been made at the national level, but their implementation has been varied at the local level.
Understanding the conditions under which communities accept and implement interventions can help guide effective strategies to foster the implementation of these interventions in areas where programs do not currently exist.