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Clients within the criminal justice system sometimes need substance abuse treatment. There are specific steps and guidelines that need to be followed to have a criminal justice client admitted into a substance abuse treatment program. The first step is to determine eligibility. This requires that a panel decide which criminal justice clients need substance abuse treatment, and how much and what type of treatment is needed.|
Often those determined to need substance abuse treatment are also screened for mental health problems. Other factors are also assessed, such as their criminal activity, their sentence length, previous treatment if any, willingness to change, and violence potential.
From the screening a treatment plan is then created. The criminal justice system has agreements with treatment centers where their clients can be placed for treatment. Different types of treatment centers are utilized, and a decision is made on what treatment program will be most beneficial for a client based on their individual needs. These treatment centers are also often required to help address criminal justice clients unique needs in the area of self-image. Clients often have criminal thinking and morals, anger and hostility issues as well as guilt of the self-image of being a “criminal.” Treatment centers address these unique problems by educating clients in positive social roles.
Sometimes there is treatment programs set-up within jails that clients attend while serving their sentence. These treatments are only effective if treatment support is continued after the client has been released. Treatments known as Therapeutic Communities show the most positive signs of success. This program is extremely intense treatment that lasts a minimum of six months. Clients in this program live together usually separate from the rest of the prison inmates. The system allows clients to work towards goals and move up to getting more and more responsibility and gaining skills.
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