Inmates addicted to methamphetamine are now being treated in prisons populated solely by fellow meth addicts. The recidivism rates look promising.
Addiction: A ‘Meth Prison’ Movement
April 24, 2006 issue - As the methamphetamine epidemic continues to ravage the country, some states are responding with a new innovation: “meth prisons” dedicated exclusively to inmates addicted to the drug. The Montana Department of Corrections just approved construction of two of them—an 80-inmate unit for men and a 40-inmate unit for women. Illinois, which already has a two-year-old drug prison that handles a variety of addictions, plans to open two meth-specific facilities by July 2007; each one will house 200 male inmates.
By placing meth users in intensive treatment programs and isolating them from convicts who can teach them new criminal skills (like check forging), state officials hope to reduce high recidivism rates among addicts. “Just being in jail isn’t going to fix this,” says Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer. “Jail doesn’t get the demons out.”