Drug Offenders In Federal Prisons

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Within the jail and prison system there are many types of offenders living together. Some of these offenders require special attention and programs while incarcerated. These special requirements can be based on a mental or physical health issue, age, or type of offense; such as sex offenses or particularly violent offenses. For the purposes of this paper the focus will be on the special requirements of drug offenders, and more specifically drug abusers. On the surface it may not seem like these offenders need any special considerations while incarcerated. However, a deeper look will show that drug addicted offenders bring more than just an addiction with them, and if these things are not addressed they can pose additional problems for correctional …show more content…

(Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), 2015) According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in 2013, 25% of those on probation and 32% of those on parole were in that situation for a drug offense. (2014, p. 17 & 20) It is important to note that not everyone in jail for a drug offense has a drug addiction and equally not all addicts who are incarcerated is there for a drug offense. (Seiter, 2014, p. 265) In 2004 56% of state prisoners and 50% of federal prisoners has used drugs at some point in the month prior to their arrest. (BJS, 2006, p. 1) Further 32% of state and 26% of federal inmates were using at the time of their arrests, and 53% of state and 49% of federal prisoners had a history of drug dependence or abuse. (BJS, 2006, p. …show more content…

There are extra costs for the medical attention, plus possible extra costs if an ambulance is needed for transport. As correctional facilities are already operating on low staff, having to send someone with the inmate even short term can put the rest of the staff at risk. Having to move inmates who have become or could become violent to a non-secure facility also endangers the public. Since part of the mission of the correctional system is to protect the public, it seems there needs to be a better way of dealing with offenders who have a drug and/or alcohol addiction. As America got tough on crime and launched its war on drugs in the 1980s incarceration rates soared. People believed just locking criminals up for all crimes, even non-violent drug offenses was the best option for fighting crime. However, the rate of recidivism would say this ‘lock them up and they will learn their lesson’ philosophy is not working. A 2014 BJS report showed that 76.6% of offenders released from prison in 2005 were arrested for a new crime within five years. In that same time frame 76.9% of drug offenders released in 2005 were re-arrested. (Durose, Cooper, & Snyder, 2014, p.

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