DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PROVIDES $32.6 MILLION FOR DRUG TREATMENT AT CORRECTIONAL & DETENTION FACILITIES
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced the award of $32.6 million nationwide to provide substance abuse treatment to offenders at state and local correctional and detention facilities. 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.
"The growth of the state and local inmate population and the history of substance abuse among the majority of these inmates indicate the need to break the drug - crime link and increase opportunities for successful transition into communities while ensuring public safety," said Tracy A. Henke, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs.
According to the latest data from OJP's Bureau of Justice Statistics, 70 percent of all local jail inmates have been arrested or convicted of a drug offense, or used drugs regularly. Thirty-six percent were under the influence of drugs at the time of the offense and 16 percent reported committing offenses in order to obtain money for drugs.
RSAT addresses 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. In addition to coordinating and providing transitional services for offenders reentering society, the program is considered a vital element of the Office of National Drug Control Policy's key objective, "Healing America's Drug Users."
RSAT programs adhere to stringent guidelines: they must last between 6 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.
This year's RSAT awards range from $3.3 million to more populated states, such as California and Texas, to $150,000 for less populated states, such as Vermont and North Dakota. Funds are allocated to each state, the District of Columbia and five territories based upon its 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. Additionally, RSAT requires states to contribute 25 percent in matching funds. A complete listing of the 2005 RSAT awards is attached and is available at: www.ojp.usdoj.gov.
With more than 600,000 men and women released from prison each year and 67 percent of them returning to prison or jail within three years of release, RSAT is a critical aspect of the Department of Justice's prisoner reentry efforts, which include the Prisoner Reentry Initiative announced by President Bush in his 2004 State of the Union Address. The goal of the initiative is to 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 the Department of Labor, with $300 million allocated over a four-year period.
The Office of Justice Programs 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 two offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education and 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.