Chapter 16: Substance Use and Addiction and American Prison and Jail Inmates 1
Hung-En Sung & Linda Richter & Roger Vaughan & Susan E. Foster
Substance use and addiction and American prison and jail inmates The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, driven in large part by crime linked to alcohol and other drug use and addiction. Two thirds of America's inmates meet medical criteria for the complex brain disease of addiction, yet only 11% of them receive any form of professional treatment. Both substance use and high rates of incarceration destroy lives, break up families, and devastate communities. Worse, they exacerbate and reinforce each other in a desperate cycle of addiction and social exclusion that has wreaked havoc among the most vulnerable segments of our population. In this chapter, we report results from an exhaustive analysis of the extent to which alcohol and other drugs are implicated in the crimes and incarceration of America's prison population. We explain how despite greater recognition of the problem and potential solutions, our country ...