Probationers with a history of drug misuse are at increased risk of relapse of the harmful behavior. Although the freedoms of parolees and probationers are restricted, they have greater access to illicit drugs and alcohol than the incarcerated population, which may lead to adverse outcomes (“Treatment for Offenders under Community Supervision”). Therefore, this population requires a treatment program that is based on the increased authority and community supervision. This initiative includes hiring more supervisors for probationers, extensive training of service providers, and providing education to the community.
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The problem of substance misuse among probationers and parolees is a considerable bother for criminal justice agencies. According to Fearn et al., at any given time, there are approximately 5 million individuals on probation or parole, and nearly 25% experience drug-related problems (129). Apart from being harmful to physical and mental well-being, drug abuse negatively impacts adherence to supervision requirements, including treatment mandates, reentry and recidivism, and the ability to maintain non-criminal statuses while being monitored in the community (Fearn et al. 129). Therefore, the development and implementation of an efficient evidence-based treatment program are vital for improving probation outcomes.
The first step is to increase the number of supervising officers to ensure that there are enough human resources for the program. Second, all the supervisors are to be taught appropriate strategies to perform their duties efficiently using recent evidence. Third, the agencies are to provide education to the community about the risks of drug abuse. The education program will also include information about how to react if citizens know that a parolee or probationer abuses drugs. The program is expected to reduce the number of drug addicts by 80% among probationers and reduce associated adverse events. The prisons are expected to be less populated since the risk of additional offenses from the probationers will decrease.
The program may be funded by a federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. This grant provides a funding opportunity for developing behavioral and integrative treatment programs for drug addicts. Non-profit public agencies are eligible for this grant; therefore, it is appropriate for a criminal justice agency experiencing cutbacks. The grant also provides the opportunity to include pharmaceutical treatment, which may be vital for improving community outcomes. Even though there may be numerous organizations competing for this grant, there is a high chance that the proposed treatment program will win the money.
Department of Health and Human Services. “Behavioral and Integrative Treatment Development Program,” Grants.gov, Web.
Fearn, Noelle E. et al. “Trends and Correlates of Substance Use Disorders among Probationers and Parolees in the United States 2002–2014”. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 167, 2016, 128-139.
“Treatment for Offenders under Community Supervision.” Bookshelf, Web.