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jailNearly one-third of all prisoners in the state of Kentucky who are living with an addiction will return to jail because of criminal activity associated with their substance abuse problem. This phenomenon known as recidivism is not isolated to Kentucky. In fact, historically most states in the US report similar issues with their inmate population.

However, a University of Kentucky (U of K) study suggests an option that may be helpful in rectifying the problem. The U of K researchers found that if prisoners were provided drug or alcohol treatment while serving out their sentence, the recidivism rate dropped to 20 percent. For this reason, Kentucky has allotted $7 million over the next year to fund drug treatment in the jails and prisons throughout the state.

Substance Abuse Treatment for Inmates Makes Society Safer

Drug and alcohol abuse is one of the top issues facing people behind bars. The U of K research team found that jail-based treatment programs led to a 60-percent reduction in drug use after release, while individuals in prison-based treatment found similar results with a 54-percent reduction in illicit drug use once they return home.

This information is not just important for the addict that finds himself in prison as a result of drug use, but experts believe that society at large also benefits every time policies and programs are instituted that reduce substance abuse.

J. Michael Brown is the Justice Secretary of Kentucky. He said: “Substance abuse is the number one driver in our inmate population. It tears apart families, and communities in general. Anything we can do to break that cycle will improve the overall public safety of Kentucky.”

Kentucky Has Been Increasing Drug Treatment in Prisons

Over the last six years, funding for substance abuse treatment for prisoners in Kentucky has increased many times over. In 2006, $1.1 million a year was put toward this effort, and this year, that budget has reached $7 million. During this same time period, the number of beds has increased across the board in KY prisons, jails, and community programs by roughly 2.5 times. More than 3,500 people a year are receiving addiction treatment services while serving time. In a testament to the program’s success and need for further funding and expansion, 2,350 inmates are still on the waiting list in hopes they will get the chance to undergo treatment as well.

If you are in need of drug addiction treatment, you don’t have to wait until you are facing legal charges to get help. Call now to be matched with a drug rehab program that can effectively address your needs.

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