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Human Services
 

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As many as 85% of those released  from prison have a substance abuse problem and 13% of those released have some sort of mental illness that requires regular treatment.   Counseling and substance abuse treatment must be a part of the steps to recovery.  While many agencies are doing a wonderful job in this area, there is still a severe shortage of human services availability.  The shortage of counseling and human services is also a major contributor to high recidivism rates. 


Lack of available services has also made this group become a fast growing population that is doomed to failure.  Employment is nearly impossible for this group and most will end up back in prison within 3 years as they turn to criminal activity in our communities to survive or support a drug habit.   This only increases the threat to public safety and does nothing to curb drug use.  Taxpayer dollars are being spent by the tens of billions each year to cover the huge financial and social costs.   


The goal of Breaking Barriers Network is to treat the root cause of the problem.  Treat the physical needs such as shelter and employment as well as mental and spiritual needs.  Committed human services support must be available and is critical to long term integration. 


"Of the $81.3 billion spent by states on substance abuse in 1998, $77.9 billion was spent shoveling the wreckage of this enormous health and social problem…”
"Almost ninety-six (95.8) cents of every state dollar spent on substance abuse goes to carry its burden in state programs such as criminal justice, school aid, Medicaid, child welfare, developmental disabilities and mental illness because of our failure to prevent substance abuse and treat those who are abusers and addicts."  In addition, children of addicts are more likely to become addicts themselves (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets (New York, NY: CASA, Jan. 2001), p. 13.)


Because human service needs are not being met, thousands of people are added to this population everyday and continues to demand more and more taxpayer dollars as a growing band-aid. 


A total in-depth program is necessary to address the multitude of issues that could sidetrack a successful recovery.   Availability of human services for this population is a vital component to a positive recovery process.  Breaking through this barrier dramatically increases the possibility that low level non violent drug offenders can become self supportive, productive, taxpaying citizens. 

 

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