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Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

A 2019 article published by Gallup highlights the struggles of substance abuse for Americans. According to the article, “close to half of U.S. adults, 46% have dealt with substance abuse problems in their families.” Broken down, 18% of this 46% have just alcohol related abuse issues, 10% have drug related abuse and 18% have experienced both alcohol and drug problems. The survey given reported that 36% of Americans have had alcohol and drug abuse cause issues in their families and affect their lives. There were also alarming conclusions that the percentage of users affected by these numbers are under the age of 55 and have higher rates of alcohol abuse and drug abuse than those over the age of 55, which is what would have been expected given that adults in these ages are more likely to abuse substances.

The article also touched on who was more likely to report family problems due to these issues. Women were more likely than men to report drug problems, but adults without college degrees, 39%, were more likely to report family drinking problems than those with a degree. Religion also was mentioned as an influence on whether or not people suffer from problems with drinking and drugs. Those who rarely attend religious services had higher rates of family problems due to these substance abuses. As time goes on, there are more reported drinking problems higher than any other decades now, which has now reached 36%. These drug and abuse problems are affecting families country wide and causing issues that are inflicting damage in families.

Individuals who are behind bars and struggling with a substance abuse add more stress to their families. They are already away from them and then they still suffer from substance use, putting even more pressure on themselves and their families. In the criminal justice system, many inmates do not get the proper care or programming they need to overcome substance abuse. More programs should be made available in prisons to help them overcome addiction and start over. It will reduce recidivism rates and help keep families together.

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Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Michigan State University elaborates in an article on how the national Stepping Up Initiative is helping to reduce the number of people in jails that are suffering from mental illnesses. The Stepping Up Initiative is led by the Council of State Governments, the National Association of Counties and the American Psychiatric Foundation. It was created to help counties redirect individuals with mental illnesses to treatment centers to receive the care they need and reduce jail populations. Currently, more than 500 counties in 43 states are part of the initiative. It is working to keep individuals with mental illnesses out of the justice system and provide them with the help they need.

A professor and her colleague at Michigan State University have been awarded a grant to study how the Stepping Up Initiative works and to determine what techniques can be used for treatment for individuals who suffer from mental illnesses. “Our primary goal is to learn more about how county agencies can work together to reduce the number of mentally ill people in county jails,” said Jennifer Johnson, a C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at MSU College of Human Medicine.

Around two-thirds of jail populations have mental health problems and around three-quarters of them also suffer from substance abuse addictions. However, most jails are not equipped with the proper programs or treatment plans to treat those suffering from mental illnesses, as many of these individuals should not be in jail but rather mental health facilities. These individuals find themselves in jail after going off of their medication and acting erratically, leading to arrest. It creates a cycle of individuals being brought in while suffering from mental health issues, being put back on the street and then acting up or committing a crime, landing them back in jail again. This is where Stepping Up comes into play by helping jails find the right fit and facility for those suffering or in need of a mental health facility. This ultimately reduces overcrowding in jails and places people in correct facilities, where they can be treated in the hopes of helping keep them out of jail.

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Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) published an article about how a Telehealth Program could improve outcomes for drug addicted, justice-involved women. The first few days following the release of incarcerated individuals is very difficult and puts them at  high risk for opioid use. In the hopes of preventing relapse and overdosing, researchers have been testing ways to connect inmates with community-based treatment and support programs before they are released. This research project is called the Women’s Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (WJCOIN), which is supported by the Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative (NIH HEAL Initiative). They have been testing videoconferencing-based telehealth solutions as a solution to expand evidence-based practices involved in treating addiction. This battles against the justice system and helps respond to the opioid crisis. This telehealth approach is seeking to understand what works best for real women in life situations.

The project is being launched in 18 states and Puerto Rico to test strategies to expand effective treatment for people with opioid use disorders. The initiative has partnered with local and state justice systems and community-based treatment providers to create the best outcome for people with substance abuse disorders.It is estimated that one half of people in the country’s jails and prisons suffer from a substance use disorder but very few receive the treatment they need. Narrowed down, women in particular face high barriers when it comes to having access to treatment and continuing it after being released. They also suffer from a higher rate for opioid overdose compared to men. Because of this, the five-year WJCOIN study will aim to enroll 900 incarcerated women with opioid addiction problems at nine state jails who are within 30 days of being released to use telehealth to link them to community treatment providers.

Collaboration between Department of Corrections (DOC) and Behavioral Health Treatment Centers is key to helping women have access to recovery programs and getting them on the right track after being released. Many suffer from opioid addictions and never fully recover, ending up back in jail. The Telehealth Program hopes to reduce recidivism and help individuals, specifically women, get back on track to living a sober and healthy life.

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Jail Overcrowding
The end of June marked a four-year project completion for Chatham County Officials as the Gateway Crisis Center for those suffering from mental health issues opened. Fox 28 Media published an article about the opening of the new facility, which includes a 24-hour walk-in facility for people in crisis, says Gateway Community Service Board CEO Mark Johnson. Guests may come voluntarily or can be transported by police or EMS. Once registered, they will receive clean clothing, meals and other amenities to comfort them and help them fight their mental health battles.
 
Opening this new facility will help reduce overcrowding in jails and prisons, as people struggling with mental illnesses will be brought to the facility instead of jail or prison. When individuals are brought to jail, they lose their benefits after a certain amount of time. “It often takes 60 to 90 days to reinstate your benefits, so they recidivate, and they end up back in jail,” Stone says. Many take drugs and are arrested and do not receive the mental health care they need, as they are stuck in jail. Sheriff Wilcher says they currently have over 300 people in jail that are on psychotropic drugs. He has been supporting the opening of the Gateway Crisis Center as it will reduce recidivism and provide the right services people need who are struggling with substance addiction and mental health problems. This will keep the community safer as people will have access to a facility that will help them and provide what they need to overcome addiction and help battle mental health problems they face.
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Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Many citizens, in the United States and the other worldly countries, struggle with alcohol dependency. In the United States, alcohol is the most frequently used and misused substance according to the Behavioral Health Barometer United Sates, Volume 5. This report was prepared for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, providing data and statistics regarding alcohol and drug abuse, as well as mental health issues that the general population of the United States incur. The data collected surveyed persons over the age of 12, including underage youth and young adults.

Alcohol has become a very wide-spread form of self-medication and is consumed in many social situations. However, this can quickly turn from a social event to a life-long dependency that impacts your behavioral and physical health. Among U.S. youth aged 12-17 in 2017, 5.3% (1.3 million) reported binge drinking in the past month. More and more youth are starting to experiment with alcohol at younger ages, as access to it becomes more easily available. Among young adults aged 18-25 in the U.S. in 2017, 36.9% (12.7 million) reported binge drinking in the past month. Of this 36.9%, 10% (3.4 million) had an alcohol use disorder in the past year. Surrounding the social stigma of drinking and socializing, more and more young adults increase their dependency on alcohol use. Lastly, among people aged 12 and older in the U.S. in 2017, 5.3% (14.5 million) had an alcohol use disorder in the past year.

As consuming alcohol increases, people give way to it controlling their lives. While intoxicated, they may be inclined to commit crimes, engage in physical violence, and disobey the law. As a result, they can be sentenced, having to await trial in jail or on bail, or potentially be placed on probation, as alcohol abuse is often considered a low-offense crime.

TRACKtech. LLC can provide solutions to several of these consequences. With the TRACKphone always being present on the program member (the offender on probation), supervisors are able to keep track of them through GPS location monitoring, frequently check-ins and hold remote meetings through biometric verification and video-conferencing. As well, they can provide resources regarding alcohol abuse and rehabilitative programs that help support the behavioral health of the program member. With all of these resources, it provides the program member more responsibility for their life and those that surround them, in the hopes of keeping them on their path to recovery and out the criminal justice system.

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Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Many citizens, in the United States and other worldly countries, struggle with an addiction and dependency on substances. According to the Behavioral Health Barometer United Sates, Volume 5, the two most frequently used substances in the U.S. are marijuana and cigarettes, however prescription drugs and other hallucinogenic drugs are becoming increasingly popular. A report prepared for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, provided data statistics regarding alcohol and drug abuse, as well as mental health issues that the general population of the U.S. face. The data collected surveys citizens over the age of 12, including youth and young adults.

As substances become more heavily abused, an individual’s mental and physical health become more endangering to themselves and others. More and more youth and young adults are developing addictions to substances, which can impact the rest of their lives negatively. Among youth aged 12-17 in the U.S. in 2017, 7.9% (2 million) used illicit drugs in the past month. Of the 7.9%, 1.5% reported misusing psychotherapeutic prescription drugs and another 1.35% reported misusing inhalants, hallucinogens, cocaine or heroin. It is an increasing problem that young children have access to behavior altering drugs that are very strong and endangering. Among young adults aged 18-25 in the U.S. in 2017, 14.8% (5.1 million) had a substance use disorder in the past year. As substance use becomes more popular on college campuses, students experiment more and get swept up in misusing drugs. Among people aged 12 or older in the U.S. in 2017, 7.2% (19.7 million) had a substance use disorder in the past year. As people experiment and abuse substances, their risk perceptions are altered and lower, according to the survey, as they do not see overdosing or using the substances as endangering as they are.

With using hallucinate and behavior altering substances, people can have the tendency to commit crimes due to behavioral changes or to pay for the drugs. This can land them in the criminal justice system which then most likely gives way to a trial resulting in some prison time, parole or probation.

TRACKtech. LLC is committed to helping change substance abuse of those entering society, helping reduce recidivism. With the TRACKphone, supervisors are able to locate program members (the offenders) through GPS location monitoring and frequently check-in or establish remote meetings through video-conferencing. This can ensure contact with the program members, providing a support system to help keep them in a healthy and active behavioral state. Different resources and programs are also provided by TRACKtech, in the hopes of helping people stay on their path to recovery and keep control of their lives through supportive means.

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Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

With September being the dedicated month to recovery, people are raising awareness about recovery issues and the many hardships endured every minute of one’s recovery path. A national report was conducted about alcohol and substance abuse, as well as mental health issues. The data, according to the Behavioral Health Barometer United States, Volume 5, outlines the abuse of different substances and treatments in populations of any person over the age of 12, including youth and young adults.

National Recovery Month is a time for people to come together and support one another who have struggled with the same or similar addictions as they have. As addictions, abuse and mental health issues are more openly discussed, removing the stigma, people are more inclined to seek treatment. In 2017 in a single day, 1.4 million people in the U.S. were enrolled in a substance use treatment program. Of this 1.4 million seeking treatment, 37% had both a drug and alcohol addiction, 47.7% had a drug problem only and 15.6% only had an alcohol problem. It is difficult and time consuming for people to seek treatment, as it can be considered almost a defeat by the substance. Though, more people though are accepting that they are struggling with the abuse of a substance or mental issues and realize they need to seek treatment. People are more inclined to seek treatment and start their road to recovery if they feel supported and have better access to resources and programs.

TRACKtech. LLC is able to help those on probation or parole who are recovering from substance abuse or a mental health illness. The TRACKphone provides resources and programs to support recovering addicts and those struggling with a mental illness by keeping them in a more rehabilitative and supportive environment. It also eases the case workers job by monitoring the location of the program member and establishing boundaries to keep them on their path to recovery. As well, it provides supervisors with the ability to check-in remotely and video conference with the program member through biometric verification. TRACKtech was created to observe, predict, and influence by working together to support people’s roads to recovery and providing the guidance they need to do this.

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Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

A recent article published by the Justice Center The Council of State Governments discusses the recently signed Assembly Bill 236 by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. It is a “Justice Reinvestment bill that aims to rebalance the use of criminal justice resources and invest in strategies that reduce recidivism, support law enforcement, and expand access to behavioral health services.” The legislation hopes the bill will “avert 63% of projected growth in prison populations over the next decade, saving taxpayers $543 million.” As prison populations continue to increase, many people who enter the Nevada prisons are convicted of low-level, nonviolent drug or property crimes. However, once in the prison system, there is a lack of appropriate behavioral health interventions. There is a significant gap in services for people who are struggling with substance addictions and/or mental illnesses. 

Rebalancing criminal justice resources is necessary and beneficial to an inmate’s health. This legislation is aiming to target interventions and services for people with behavioral health needs. TRACKtech, LLC is taking the approach of working to help inmates as they reenter society with their behavioral health needs by providing support and access to resources. These resources help to rehabilitate program members effectively and provide outlets for seeking help. Working with case managers, TRACKtech offers extensive support to help program members improve their behavioral health issues and mental illnesses. We encourage others to follow this lead as it is a significant problem the world population faces, in and out of the prison system. 

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Recidivism
With recidivism rates on the rise, an Arkansas County Jail has taken an intuitive step to help inmates achieve a more successful life after incarceration by providing a peer support group dubbed the PACT (Peers Achieving Collaborative Treatment) Program. This program, launching in 2019, will provide group meetings and one-on-one sessions for inmates addicted to drugs while they are incarcerated in the Lonoke County Jail. Through a grant awarded by the State Drug Director’s office, Lonoke County will hire a Peer Recovery Support Specialist to assist inmates struggling with addiction. The peer consultant will help them prepare for job interviews, acquire food stamps and find housing, while also assisting them with essential life skills and drug rehabilitation. Not being able to acquire employment is one of the leading causes of recidivism, and as such these programs are very likely to improve these inmate’s success as they reintegrate into their community.

Jimmy McGill, who oversees the peer recovery program and works alongside the Arkansas Drug Director’s Office, has a very personal investment in the program. He is four years sober, having gotten clean while incarcerated in this same jail. McGill successfully completed the peer program and gives hope to others who are currently participating in it. John Staley, the Lonoke County Sheriff, is very confident that this program will help reduce recidivism, so long as the inmates have constant support once they are released.

TRACKTech™ not only provides continuous monitoring, but also a convenient and immediate way to deliver therapeutic and rehabilitative support, which is extremely essential for those recovering from drug addiction. Becoming a productive and successful member of society is hard enough for most people released from incarceration, but overcoming a drug addiction is an even more difficult, and potentially life threatening, obstacle. Using the peer recovery program will help these people improve their lives, inside jail and out.
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Justice Reform

The National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) have announced the establishment of a Joint Task Force to reduce recurrence of prisoners through continuity of health care services. The NACo-NSA task force plans to convene at least twice this spring and summer. The National District Attorney’s Association (NDAA) has been asked to select a member from among its ranks to partake in the task force to provide a perspective for local prosecutors. Erie County Attorney John Flynn was chosen for the position. Having a prosecutor on the force will provide valuable insight into the need for increased access to services for veterans who frequently get into trouble with the criminal justice system due to post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse or other disorders. The new task force has 28 members, uniting county officials, sheriffs, prosecutors, judges, public defenders and behavioral health partners to develop a coordinated response to the dilemmas faced by those released from prison. Flynn is the task force’s only prosecutor. The Co-chairs are Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Sharpe and Sheriff Greg Champagne of Parish St. Charles, Louisiana.

Members of the new task force will explore the impact of existing federal policies on local prisoners’ recurrence and health outcomes. A focus will be placed on people with mental health, substance use disorders and/or other chronic health conditions. Flynn stated that “Under current law, those who can afford bail keep their health care while those unable to pay – who are most susceptible to illness – face a gap in coverage. Research shows gaps in coverage leads to higher rates of recidivism resulting in over-incarceration.” This impressive task force also welcomes assistance from other governmental, corporate, academic and philanthropic partners’ participation and contributions.

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