Pubdate: Sun, 05 Mar 2006
Source: Saipan Tribune (US MP)
Copyright: 2006 Saipan Tribune
Author: PR
Bookmark: (Treatment)
Bookmark: (Incarceration)


The Northern Mariana Islands has been awarded $39,755 that will be
used to fund treatment for drug and substance addiction among its
prisoners and detainees.

The funding is part of the $9.6 million that was announced yesterday
by the Office of Justice Programs to provide substance abuse treatment
to offenders at state and local correctional and detention facilities

The grants, administered by OJP's Bureau of Justice Assistance, were
made through the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program, which
funds the development and implementation of individual and group
substance abuse treatment programs for offenders in residential
facilities operated by state and local correctional agencies.

"Breaking the drug-crime link is a critical step in the transition of
offenders from prisons and jails to their communities," said Regina B.
Schofield, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice
Programs. "These awards can help make state and local communities
safer while providing inmates the opportunity to lead drug-free lives."

According to the latest data from OJP's Bureau of Justice Statistics,
68 percent of jail inmates reported substance abuse dependence prior
to incarceration, with 29 percent being under the influence of drugs
at the time of the offense and 16 percent committing offenses in order
to obtain money for drugs.

Of the more than 665,000 jail inmates, over two-thirds were found to
be dependent on or abusing alcohol or drugs.

RSAT helps to address the issue of substance abuse dependence and the
direct link to public safety, crime and victimization by providing
comprehensive treatment and services within the institution and in the
community after a prisoner is released. The most recent recidivism
data from BJS illustrates 67 percent of prisoners released from prison
or jails are rearrested within three years of release.

The Department of Justice's prisoner re-entry efforts, including the
Prisoner Re-entry Initiative, support programs that help ex-offenders
find and keep employment, obtain transitional housing, receive
mentoring, develop risk and needs assessment, and assist with
post-release supervision. The Initiative is a partnership between the
Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban
Development, and Department of Labor, with $300 million over a
four-year period which began in 2004.

This year's RSAT awards range from $900,000 for more populated states,
such as California and Texas, to $40,000 for less populated states,
such as Vermont and North Dakota. Funds are allocated to each state,
the District of Columbia and territories based upon respective prison
population in relationship to the total prison population of all
states combined.

All states are eligible to participate in the RSAT program, but they
must meet certain criteria to receive funding. RSAT programs must last
between six and 12 months; provide residential treatment facilities
set apart from the general population; focus on the substance abuse
problems of the inmate; and develop the inmate's cognitive,
behavioral, social, vocational, and other life skills to solve
substance abuse and related problems. Additionally, RSAT requires
states contribute 25 percent in matching funds. A complete listing of
the 2006 RSAT awards is attached and available at

The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership in
developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime,
administer justice, and assist victims.

OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises five
component bureaus and an office: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the
Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office
for Victims of Crime, as well as the Community Capacity Development
Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy and OJP's
American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Desk. 
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MAP posted-by: Tom