Kentucky has allotted $7 million this fiscal year to provide treatment to prisoners with substance abuse problems, the Courier Journal reports.
According to the Kentucky Department of Corrections, 30 percent of Kentucky inmates struggling with drug addiction return to jail. But a 2011 study from the University of Kentucky said this figure drops to 20 percent among inmates who receive treatment while behind bars.
“Investing in treatment programs is absolutely a prudent use of resources,” said Justice Secretary J. Michael Brown. “Substance abuse is the number one driver in our inmate population. It tears apart families, and communities in general. Anything we can do to break that cycle will improve the overall public safety of Kentucky.”
The University of Kentucky study also showed that participants in jail-based treatment programs are 60 percent less likely to use drugs following release, and those in prison-based treatment cut the risk by 54 percent.
As of the end of August, a total of 3,354 people in prisons, county jails, and community programs had completed substance abuse treatment through the Corrections Department this year. Last year, 3,505 inmates completed addiction treatment programs.
Most of the treatment lasts six months, but three-month programs are also available for inmates assessed as low-level offenders.