I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Addiction: The Cost of Treatment Denial

Let's try to make sure that cuts within departments aren't made in essential areas which ultimately increase the cost paid by society...

National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University

Prison Treatment Cuts Could Feed Recidivism in Calif.
November 20, 2009

An 80-percent reduction in prison addiction-treatment capacity could lead to a proportional increase in recidivism in California, some experts say.

The Contra Costa Times reported Nov. 12 that $1.2 billion in budget cuts for state prisons will mean that just 2,350 inmates will receive addiction treatment next year, down from 12,164. Nine-month programs will be cut to three months, which critics say could limit their effectiveness.

"Those inmates will have very little treatment service to deal with behavioral issues that they've spent years to develop, most of which was put on them from an early age," said Darrol Monfils, a counselor at the California Institution for Women. "Their chances of succeeding are slim."

"California prisoners will be paroling inmates with little or no rehabilitation," Monfils said. "They will be paroling with the same behaviors as they did when they arrived. Now, having said that, there will be a few exceptions to the rule, but they will be the larger minority."

A state corrections department spokesperson said the agency is "scientifically evaluating and assessing inmates, those at the highest risk of recidivism and so we are targeting our resources to that population group and identifying what their needs are."

David Conn, senior vice president for treatment provider Mental Health Systems, Inc., said the state made the cuts only reluctantly. "These were sort of last-minute budget cuts to balance the budget, and everyone agrees it's probably a foolish decision," he said. "Individuals who are incarcerated to support drug habits will not receive substance abuse treatment. The likelihood of them reoffending increases significantly."

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