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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2009 Aug 1;103 Suppl 1:S1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2009.03.003. Epub 2009 May 6.

Organizational context, systems change, and adopting treatment delivery systems in the criminal justice system.


The correctional system does not include service provision as a primary goal, even though individuals in prison, jail, and on probation/parole have large unmet substance abuse treatment needs. In response to mandates in the U.S. Constitution for basic health care, services are provided for incarcerated offenders, but generally do not include substance abuse treatment. The system does little to extend any type of health care service to individuals in community settings. This leaves the majority of offenders (6 million under community supervision in the U.S.) basically unattended, even with substance abuse disorders that are four times greater than the general public. The challenge of adapting the correctional system to be part of an integrated service provision system - working in conjunction with the public and private community-based service delivery sector - has intrigued researchers and policy makers over the last two decades. A series of articles using data from the National Criminal Justice Treatment Practices survey have examined factors that influence the adoption of a myriad of substance abuse treatment services for offender populations in various settings. These articles explore the factors that affect adoption and implementation, and provide guidance on issues relevant to organizational change and a dual mission of correctional agencies to advance public safety and public health. This special issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence is devoted to understanding organizational constructs and factors to improve health outcomes for offenders.

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