The Extent of Drug Treatment in Iails: A Summary Report

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drug treatment programs, jails, cost analysis, standards implementation


An analysis is presented of a survey of inhouse drug treatment services available in the nation's jails conducted by the American Jail Association in 1987. Less than 20 percent of all jails surveyed reported a drug treatment program involving paid staff. The programs varied greatly in the scope of services offered, the number of paid staff, and the program budget. A comparison of the components of injail drug treatment, the number of weekly activities, and levels of staffing suggests that even among the more comprehensive programs, treatment services are not comparable to those provided in community residential or intensive outpatient programs. The lack of transition planning and case management requires attention. In addition, the inadequate level of drug treatment services in most jails warrants the need for development of standards for both the administration and treatment staff. Technical assistance and consultation in staff training, treatment curriculum, and assessment and evaluation are of critical importance to jails developing a new program; It is available through the American Jail Association model demonstration program and through the National Institute of Corrections Jail Center. The costs involved for an average program translates to $3.50 per day per person and, with the recommended staffing pattern, increases to $8 per day as compared with the $50-60 per day in residential treatment.

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American Jails, v. 4, issue 3, p. 32-35

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