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Patrece Hairston

and Ingrid A. Binswanger

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date: 17 January 2020

The nexus of substance use disorders and criminal justice involvement is considerable. This is particularly the case in the United States, where 48% of individuals in federal prisons were incarcerated for drug-related convictions in 2011. In the last year for which national data are available, approximately half of the individuals incarcerated in state and federal prisons met criteria for drug abuse or dependence. Tobacco and alcohol use are also more common in correctional populations than in the general, non-institutionalized population. Thus, criminal justice populations have a significant need for evidence-based treatment of addiction and interventions to reduce the medical complications of drug use. While many programs to address substance use disorder among correctional populations exist, many individuals fail to receive adequate care and continue to experience complications of substance use disorders. Thus, correctional clinicians and staff, researchers, and patients will need to continue to advocate for improved and enhanced dissemination of integrated, evidence-based behavioral and pharmacological treatment for substance use disorder across the continuum of criminal justice involvement. This chapter describes the evolution of addiction programming within correctional settings from the late 1700s to contemporary practices. Beginning with a discussion of mutual aid societies as one of the earliest providers of ‘treatment,’ this chapter outlines important aspects of early treatment. Additionally, current levels of care and specialized modalities for individuals involved in the criminal justice system are presented, such as cognitive-behavioral interventions, drug courts, therapeutic communities, pharmacologically supported therapy, and harm reduction approaches.

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