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Issue Position: Drug Recovery Treatment for Prisoners and Ex-Offenders

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After viewing local and national recidivism rates, I was concerned that inmates addicted to drugs and convicted for drug-related crimes were not receiving effective treatment, therefore more likely to re-commit crimes after their release from prison.

National data suggests that approximately two-thirds of ex-offenders will be rearrested within three years, with 40 percent being rearrested within the first 12 months after release from prison. To break this vicious cycle, drug treatment during incarceration is a critical component for successful reintegration into society.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) undertook an evaluation of its residential drug abuse treatment program by assessing the post-release outcomes of inmates who had been released from FBOP custody in 2001.

The evaluation revealed that offenders who had completed the drug abuse treatment program and had been released to the community for three years were less likely to be re-arrested or to test positive for drugs than similar inmates who had not participated in the program.

In 2004, we won a major victory with passage of Senate Bill 217, which established intermediate punishment guidelines allowing eligible offenders to undergo drug rehabilitation and other alternative treatment options.


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