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J Ment Health Adm. 1992 Spring;19(1):53-75.

Referral and screening for substance abuse treatment in jails.

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  • 1Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, Tampa 33612.


As jails and prisons have become filled to capacity with inmates arrested and convicted for drug-related offenses, efforts have intensified to reduce subsequent drug use, drug-related crime, and recidivism among this population. Faced with the drug abuse epidemic; treatment resources in the community have expanded more quickly than in detention and corrections facilities. Many large jails and prisons do not presently have a substance abuse treatment program despite clear evidence of widespread drug and alcohol dependence problems among inmate populations. Where substance abuse treatment resources are available, administrators face difficult choices in determining which inmates will receive services. This paper provides a discussion of issues related to referral and screening procedures for in-jail substance abuse treatment programs. Referral and screening systems implemented in several jails across the country are reviewed.

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