WASHINGTON, D.C. B LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced awards of $9.6 million to provide substance abuse treatment to offenders at state and local correctional and detention facilities nationwide. The grants, administered by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, were made through the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Program, which funds the development and implementation of individual and group substance abuse treatment programs for offenders in residential facilities operated by state and local correctional agencies.
ABreaking the drug-crime link is a critical step in the transition of offenders from prisons and jails to their communities,” said Regina B. Schofield, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. “These awards can help make state and local communities safer while providing inmates the opportunity to lead drug-free lives.”
According to the latest data from OJP’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 68 percent of jail inmates reported substance abuse dependence prior to incarceration, with 29 percent being under the influence of drugs at the time of the offense and 16 percent committing offenses in order to obtain money for drugs. Of the more than 665,000 jail inmates, over two-thirds were found to be dependent on or abusing alcohol or drugs.
RSAT helps to address the issue of substance abuse dependence and the direct link to public safety, crime and victimization by providing comprehensive treatment and services within the institution and in the community after a prisoner is released. The most recent recidivism data from BJS illustrates 67 percent of prisoners released from prison or jails are rearrested within three years of release.
The Department of Justice’s prisoner re-entry efforts, including the Prisoner Re-entry Initiative, support programs that help ex-offenders find and keep employment, obtain transitional housing, receive mentoring, develop risk and needs assessment, and assist with post-release supervision. The Initiative is a partnership between the Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Department of Labor, with $300 million over a four-year period which began in 2004.
This year’s RSAT awards range from $900,000 for more populated states, such as California and Texas, to $40,000 for less populated states, such as Vermont and North Dakota. Funds are allocated to each state, the District of Columbia and territories based upon respective prison population in relationship to the total prison population of all states combined.
All states are eligible to participate in the RSAT program, but they must meet certain criteria to receive funding. RSAT programs must last between six and 12 months; provide residential treatment facilities set apart from the general population; focus on the substance abuse problems of the inmate; and develop the inmate’s cognitive, behavioral, social, vocational, and other life skills to solve substance abuse and related problems. Additionally, RSAT requires states contribute 25 percent in matching funds. A complete listing of the 2006 RSAT awards is attached and available at: www.ojp.usdoj.gov.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises five component bureaus and an office: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy and OJP’s American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Desk. More information can be found at www.ojp.usdoj.gov.
FY 2006 Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Program
New Hampshire 53,074
New Jersey 190,841
New Mexico 75,352
New York 400,500
North Carolina 240,017
North Dakota 46,721
Rhode Island 49,934
South Carolina 171,975
South Dakota 56,740
West Virginia 67,917
American Samoa 40,135
Northern Mariana Islands 39,755
Puerto Rico 103,661
Virgin Islands 41,614