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Transition to the community 

Transition to the community
Transition to the community

Jaimie P. Meyer

and Frederick L. Altice

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date: 11 December 2019

Re-incarceration of former prisoners is commonly associated with relapse to drug and alcohol use because of ineffective treatment of substance use disorders (SUDs) after release. High entry rates of people who use drugs (PWUDs) into prisons or jails results in the criminal justice system (CJS) bearing a disproportionate burden of the epidemic of people with SUDs. In contrast to 8% of U.S. adults in the general population, up to 65% of prisoners meet DSM-IV criteria for having a SUD and, depending on geographical location, 70% of HIV-infected prisoners meet criteria for opioid dependence. Though substantial efforts have focused on providing support for those with SUDs as they transition back to the community, evidence-based interventions are not commonly deployed. Despite scientific evidence supporting transitional programs for prisoners with SUDs (e.g., medication assisted therapies, contingency management, adherence support strategies), there are significant logistical constraints to introducing evidence-based interventions into correctional systems and delivering them to prisoners prior to release. Innovative solutions are needed that involve partnerships between all existing stakeholders, including individual patients with SUDs, the CJS and communities, in order to overcome existing impediments. This chapter discusses best practice and evidence-based models in use for jails and prisons to support successful community re-entry.

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