Improve Re-Entry After Incarceration for People with MH and SUDs

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Return to Zoom Map (Improve Treatment & Enable Recovery for People with SUDs) or Zoom Map - Prioritize SUD Treatment over Incarceration

This objective focuses specifically on improving the transition back into society for people with an SUD who have spent time incarcerated.  People who are returning to society are at a high risk to overdose and die because their tolerance to opioids is lower and taking the amount of opioids they have previously taken can lead to overdose and death.  There are many steps that should be taken to help people move foreward with successful recovery rather than returning to using opioids and the higher chance of overdose.  


  • More than 50 percent of graduates of many prison treatment programs relapse within 12 months.[1]
  • Upon release from jail or prison, many people with mental or substance use disorders continue to lack access to services and, too often, become enmeshed in a cycle of costly justice system involvement[2]
  • An estimated 10-15 percent of the total state and federal prison population, approximately 200,000 people, are estimated to currently or historically have struggled with opioid dependence or abuse.[3]
  • A study in Massachusetts showed that people with an OUD who were released from prison were up to 120 times more likely to die than ??? (Get details. Healthcare for the Homeless presentation)


Potential Benefits

Economic Benefits of People Remaining Substance-Free and Crime-Free after Re-entry

A CASAColumbia report focused on 1996 to 2006 and "found that only 11% of all inmates with addiction received any treatment during their incarceration. The report found that if all inmates who needed treatment and aftercare received such services, the nation would break even in a year if just over 10% remained substance-free, crime-free and employed. Thereafter, for each former inmate who remained substance-free, crime-free and employed, the nation would reap an economic benefit of $90,953 per year."[4]

Tools & Resources

TR - Improve Re-Entry After Incarceration for People with SUDs

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>SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT</span>: [fill out table below]

Reviewer Date Comments





  1. ^ [1]Inciardi, J. A., MartIn, S. S., & ButzIn, C. A. (2004). Five-Year Outcomes of Therapeutic Community Treatment of Drug-Involved Offenders after Release from Prison. Crime & Delinquency, 50(1), 88–107.
  2. ^ [2]The Revolving Door of American’s Prisons.(2011). State of Recidivism, Retrieved December 5, 2019, from
  3. ^ [3]Mumola, C. J., & Karberg, J. C. (2006). Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners, 2004: (560272006-001) [Data set].
  4. ^ Substance Abuse & America’s Prison Population 2010 | Center on Addiction. (n.d.). Retrieved December 5, 2019, from