Criminal Justice Reform
- Our prisons are full of individuals with a substance use disorder. Almost 2/3 have a substance use disorder, and an additional 1/5 were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the offense. That accounts for 85% of the US prison population.
- Serving time in prison alone doesn’t get rid of criminal behavior. Over 2/3 of all prisoners are arrested again within 3 years; 83% within 9 years. Looking specifically at those serving time for drug related offenses, 77% were arrested for a non-drug crime within 9 years.
- The total cost to society (justice system and victims) for drug related crime equaled $113 billion; estimates for the cost of treatment (health costs, hospitalizations, and government specialty treatment) was $14.6 billion.
What We Need
Utilize effective interventions along the full justice continuum that minimize arrest, conviction, and incarceration.
The Blueprint Committees will reimagine how a full range of complimentary multi-system collaborations involving justice, treatment, and community services effectively and economically support health *and* safety, preventing and minimizing initial and repeat encounters with the justice system.
Prioritize community-based services that address individual risks, needs, and responsivity.
There is a growing list of evidence-based and promising practices for individuals involved with the justice system, and the programs that serve them. Coordinating clinical and community services that address the substance use disorder, dynamic risk factors associated with justice involvement, and social determinants of health provide the best path to long term recovery outside of the justice system.
Utilize drug courts and community corrections programs
Drug treatment courts are specialized courts that focus on rehabilitation with accountability—and they are highly effective. But their reach is still limited. The Foundation will research how to bring these programs to scale. Likewise, community corrections today has failed to reduce drug use and recidivism—despite evidence showing programs like HOPE Probation and similar strategies can reduce criminal behavior, drug use, and incarceration.