Prison Law Blog

Sara Mayeux

Illinois Experiments with Prisons Devoted Entirely to Substance Abuse Treatment

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The Crime Report has posted this article about an interesting prison experiment in Illinois: a medium-security facility dedicated entirely to substance abuse issues. Admittance to the Sheridan Correctional Center is voluntary, and those convicted of murder or sex offenses are ineligible. Inmates spend three hours a day in treatment, in addition to job training and other activities. To me, the most interesting quote in the story was this one, highlighting the difference between this prison model and the more bare-bones, human warehouse model that has become common around the country:

Brian Boothe, 36, a drug offender from Bloomington, knew he was in a different prison setting when he attended his first counseling session.

“It looks like a prison facility but what threw me for a loop was when somebody called me a ‘client.’ Just that respect alone woke me up,” said Boothe, who is set to be released later this year and is considering a career as a counselor.

Also of interest is this companion piece, in which Edith Brany-Lunny describes the challenges she faced in reporting and writing this story.

Written by sara

March 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm

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