Pubdate: Tue, 01 Jan 2002
Source: Olympian, The (WA)
Copyright: 2002, The Olympian
Author: Carl Flowers
Bookmark: (Treatment)


This letter is in reference to a recent article titled "Study calls 
for treatment, not prison, for drug users."

The research regarding alternatives to prison for drug crime 
violations consistently indicates that successful outcomes can be 
achieved with combinations of sanctions, treatment and supportive 
resocialization. In application of these elements, however, the 
programs often fail to effectively extend the structure of treatment 
and support for a long enough period for the individual to achieve 
significant attitudinal and behavioral changes.

In going for the short-term approach (treatment) as a alternative to 
the long-term approach (prison), the public often has expectations 
that the treatment programs cannot meet.

Drug-use relapse and criminal recidivism are often the outcome of 
incomplete treatment plans that end with intensive outpatient 
treatment and do not have resources for supportive resocialization of 
the individuals through continuing chemical dependency treatment 
linked with vocational development and transitional housing support.

Treatment provided in prisons with very little community follow-up is 
seldom effective in preventing recidivism.

Community-based treatment with committed resources for long-term 
resocialization can significantly reduce relapse and recidivism.

Existing community treatment resources are not structured for this 
level of service and should not be considered the alternative for 

Carl Flowers

- ---
MAP posted-by: Josh