Correctional Substance Abuse – Case Study on Best Practices in Corrections

Given the increasing rates of drug-related crimes over the last thirty years, there arose a need for correctional substance abuse programs which aim at reducing crime spurred by substance abuse. These programs were constituted and are practiced in many states. However, there needs to be an effective practice to ensure that these rehabilitations are effective. As a result, correctional substance abuse encompass treatment practices that help criminals with substance abuse problems through the rehabilitation so that they can get clean and be morphed into productive citizens.

Risk, Needs, and Responsivity Practice

This practice is used to assess and determine the models of treatment options each substance abuse offender should be given. The risk factor determines the extent of offenders’ future crime involvement in that those that are high-risk offenders are assigned the most costly and intense treatment options while the low-risk offenders are given moderate attention (Ogloff&Davis 2004). This system of assessment helps to manage resources to ensure that most of the facilities’ resources are reserved for offenders who need more attention to ensure the effectiveness of the program.

The needs aspect is used to determine and assess the criminogenic needs of a substance abuse offender. This implies that the assessment involves understanding whether these offenders are cognitive-thinking deficient, employable, their problem-solvingdeficits, egocentric aspects as well as their social or antisocial attitudes (Ogloff&Davis 2004). This practice is efficient for practitioners to understand the treatment approach for each offender to ensure the rehabilitation proves effective and offenders can blend into the outside community without engaging in future crimes.

The responsivity aspect is a model used to assess these offenders’ modes of learning, their personality traits, and treatment attitude. This practice enables the rehabilitation officers to evaluate progress and determine the responsiveness of the treatment offered. Studies show that the risk, needs, and responsivity factors are effective practices that lead to a decrease inrecidivism (Ogloff&Davis 2004).

Case Management Practice

This practice involves the provision of other activity-related rehabilitation other than treatment. This implies that substance abuse offenders are allowed to participate in social services and vocational training so that they would acquire skills which help them improve their employability as well as adapt to the working environment. Case management alsoencompasses family engagement in that family members of offenders would be involved if the treatment approach saw it fit to ensure responsiveness (Cook 1993). Another aspect of case management practice involves exercising a skill oriented treatment program where offenders are given a chance to improve their skills as a way to focus their strength on their skills and reduce therisk of drug dependency.

The case management practice is a national model sanctioned by the treatment Accountability for Safer Communities.  It is a constitutionally oriented practice that was put in place to eliminate treatment barriers and expand the offenders’ access to social services as well as monitor their progress (Cook 1993).

Treatment Modality Definitions

This practice is used to identify the primary models of drug and substance abuse treatment. The treatment options exercised are the social learning treatment model and the disease model. The disease treatment options identify substance abuse as achronicdisease. Hence aspects that align with spiritual, mental and physical attitudes are used in training to help offenders adapt to a life of abstinence as they are inclined, through a 12-step practice to consider the addiction a disease whose treatment is abstinence. Emphasis is therefore placed on teaching substance abuse offenders how to abstain from drug use (Anglin, Longshore &Turner 1999).

On the other hand, the social learning treatment option identifies substance abuse and addiction as a learned habit which can be treated by modifying behavior and teaching prosocial behavior. In this treatment method, emphasis is placed on teaching offenders how to adapt to new habits since their drug addiction was learned, and can, therefore, be unlearned (Anglin, Longshore &Turner 1999). These treatment options are used during the rehabilitation programs to help offenders learn to abstain from drug abuse and ensure the effectiveness of the rehabilitation programs.

Screening and assessment for selection

This practice involves the screening of substance abuse offenders to identify their drug-involved patterns, personality, environmental influence, family backgrounds, job training and mental stability (Anglin &Maugh1992).  The scrutiny of these aspects helps rehabilitation officers and doctors group these offenders in terms of intervention platforms and recidivism expectations as well as select the most effective primary treatment approach.

The criteria used in this practice looks into the offenders’ abuse history, developmental age, social preferences, gender, sexual orientation, spiritual standing, physical health, family history, psychological characteristics and employment history. These aspects help rehabilitation practitioners to identify the intensity, duration, and sequence of treatment as well as the evaluation of therehabilitative progress of the offenders (Anglin &Maugh1992).

Monitoring and evaluation

This practice involves constant assessment of the offenders’ responsiveness and improvements in learning abilities and cognitive therapies (Cook 1993). This practice also looks into the nature of compliance and ensures that there is total compliance from the offenders through constant supervision and frequent drug testing of all staff as well as the offenders.

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