Elements that are instrumental in helping people finish jail treatment

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Elements that are instrumental in helping people finish jail treatment

Elementsthat are instrumental in helping people finish jail treatment

Elementsthat are instrumental in helping people finish jail treatment

Avoidanceof overcrowded jails and prisons by initiating ways to expand andinstitutionalize pretrial treatment services nationwide. To create abetter climate for collaboration, there has been the creation of drugcourts and other diversion programs which have brought the criminaljustice system and treatment community together, contrary to beforewhere they worked independently. Therefore, the most important goalshould be the expansion and institutionalization of pretrialtreatment services (Messina, et al. 2006).

Theuse of sanctions can be instrumental in helping people finish jailtreatment. They encourage participation in the treatment process andare vital to obtaining public acceptance of treatment in place ofpunishment. They hold offenders accountable for their acts and if theoffenders fail to heed to their promise, the sanctions are increasedup to an ultimate sanction of incarceration is imposed on them. Withthis in mind, most offenders try and heed to the treatment. Victimimpact meetings encourage offenders to identify with how activitiesrelated to drug abuse affect the community. Restitution may be thenext sanction imposed on them if they fail to complete the requiredtreatment activities. The use of sanctions strengthens the impact oftreatment the same way involvement in treatment strengthens theadherence to community supervision arrangements (Center, et al.2005).

Increasingthe number of clinical staff and counsellors who are trained andexperienced in providing treatment to those in the pretrial settingwill help. Experienced counsellors will help in counselling while theclinical staff will help in the administration of medication to thosewith substance abuse problems in a controlled manner. A coordinatorcan be chosen to disseminate this information or maintain a databaseof treatment programs, provide coordination between the court and thetreatment and also supervise referrals.

Themedia should be educated concerning the importance, usefulness andeffectiveness of providing treatment in pretrial settings. This willhelp to inform the public of the need for pretrial treatment whichwill make it easier for them to accept it if it comes to the pointthat the criminal justice system has decided that they have to passthrough it. Brief interventions and treatment readiness programsshould be organised to supplement this.

Thetiming of treatment should also be improved. Some approaches that canbe helpful include the provision of screening and assessment at theearliest possible point in the justice system, moving the offendersinto treatment at the earliest possible times, addressing theoffender’s denial, providing the proper services to increase theoffender’s motivation to engage in treatment and also the provisionof several levels of care including detoxification to the offenders(Messina, et al. 2006).

Elementsthat militate against completion

Thechallenge of the unpredictability of the hours and days immediatelyfollowing the arrest which is brought about by the ever developingnature of arrests and arraignment is one element that militatesagainst completion of treatment. This creates a challenge to thecounsellors in gaining access to the arrestee especially if thearrests occurred at odd hours and if the interviewing conditions areless than ideal, for example in a police lockup.

Whenpeople are arrested and recorded as inmates or detainees, they losecredibility to most social services like access to loans fromfinancial institutions. As a result, the maintenance of alreadyexisting services becomes a problem for them. This leads to theindividuals having to reapply for the lost services, which is alengthy process and leads to delays in access to treatment servicesin the community (Messina, et al. 2006).

Thecounsellor might discuss the client’s ongoing criminal case, whichmight blur the boundaries the counsellor’s responsibilities. Inthis case, the counsellor should avoid situations that may lead tobeing forced to report to the prosecutor about something they havebeen told concerning the case by signing a memorandum ofunderstanding (MOU) signed by the prosecutor indicating that noinformation obtained during the treatment process will be usedagainst the client (Center, et al. 2005).

Thepresumption of innocence by the counsellor can militate completion.Issues arise when the individual participating in the treatment can’tadmit to having a drug problem. Consequently, if the crime ispossession of drugs, counsellors have a problem presuming theclient’s innocence.


Centerfor Substance Abuse Treatment. (2005). Substance abuse treatment foradults in the criminal justice system.

Messina,N., Burdon, W., Hagopian, G., &amp Prendergast, M. (2006).Predictors of prison-based treatment outcomes: A comparison of menand women participants. TheAmerican journal of drug and alcohol abuse,32(1),7-28.