Criminal Justice

According to the NIDA, the substantial prison population in the United States is strongly connected to drug-related offenses. While the exact rates of inmates with substance use disorders (SUDs) is difficult to measure, some research shows that an estimated 65% percent of the United States prison population has an active SUD. Another 20% percent did not meet the official criteria for an SUD, but were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of their crime. 

Decades of science shows that providing comprehensive substance use treatment to criminal offenders while incarcerated works, reducing both drug use and crime after an inmate returns to the community. Treatment while in jail or prison is critical to reducing overall crime and other drug-related societal burdens—such as lost job productivity, family disintegration and a continual return to jail or prison, known as recidivism. Inadequate treatment while incarcerated also contributes to overdoses and deaths when inmates leave the prison system.

Bucks County has implemented programs in the community and within the jail to help individuals who have substance use or co-occurring disorders embark on their journey of recovery. The goal is to provide intervention services that meet the individual’s needs to promote recovery-oriented attitudes and behaviors.

Diversionary ProgramsThe goal of Diversionary Programs is to promptly identify, screen and assess individuals with substance use and co-occurring disorders, and link them to appropriate treatment and recovery services. Click here for more information.

Drug CourtThe Bucks County Court of Common Pleas has implemented a voluntary Drug Court program for individuals who are either probation/parole violators or post-plea, pre-sentence offenders with a diagnosis of substance use disorder or a co-occurring diagnosis. The program focuses on rehabilitation from substances, as well as criminal thinking behaviors. Details can be found here.

Recovery Program Units at the Department of CorrectionsThe Bucks County Department of Corrections understands the need for substance abuse services in a correctional setting, and has partnered with BCDAC, Inc. to provide services to individuals who are incarcerated. Click here for information.