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Should Jails detox inmates?

Old 02-10-2010, 06:48 PM
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I think i agree with many things you would like to see erotia...the problem is dreams are just dreams if we don't have a plan to implement them that takes into account the culture, the current sytem that is in place, and how to move in that direction.

We also have to consider that the world is for everyone, not just me or you or some other person....What I want and believe is not the only want or belief that has to be considered.

I would like to see the prison system reformed....since some people will have to be seperated from society...although i think a lot less people then we currently incarcerate....how do we make that setting more usful to the individual and thus society instead of harmful?

It's one thing to discuss ideas, and quite another to attack someone's recovery because they disagree with you.
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:09 PM
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So, the prison system my stepson was in:
he was required to complete a program regarding drugs, addiction and rehabilitation, he could not be released with out completing this "modality" whatever that means.
Then he was on a work release program. He rode a bicycle to work 8 miles away (fitness!) and was urine tested upon return each afternoon.
He was released with the parole requirement of attending AA or NA, having a sponsor and reporting to his parole officer every month and subject to drug testing at any time.
When he got out, he was adamant that he would not return to prison and knew that if he violated he would serve at least the remainder of the original sentence.
He kept this frame of mind for 6 months or so, then began using again until it (crack) was using him.
The first time he violated, he got a stern lecture from the judge but also another chance.
The second time it was back to prison.
It sounds to me like the system gave him several good opportunties to get help and get and stay clean...but he had other plans.
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:23 PM
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The countries with healthcare provide addiction treatment as part of their healthcare.
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Eroica View Post
You know I've heard that argument so many times.. that isnt possible, thats crazy.. It was crazy at one time to suggest that slaves should be emancipated.
Look around the world. Just because people aren't sold at public auction on the docks doesn't mean slavery is gone. The world isn't a pretty place.

Originally Posted by Eroica View Post
Someone said we should be using other countries as models. Do you think Sweden and other European countries keeps people in cages? Do you think other countries think our prison system is fair and humane? I thought we were more creative than that that we can explore possibilites that don't include keeping people in cells.
OK, look at Sweden. In a completely unscientific survey consisting of a Google search their prisons don't look remarkably different from modern American prisons. A little more drywall, perhaps, but basically a really boring place to sleep with a window so guards can keep an eye on the residents. They have TV in the cells, that's available at some American prisons, not others. I'm not terribly worried about the decor of the prison. Hell, my apartment has cinder block walls and nobody's complaining that I am treated inhumanely. Also I've never heard anyone say, "Man, prison was tough. They wouldn't let me paint the cell periwinkle. I just got drab, boring Indian White."

In Sweden for 2006 (according to a report by the Swedish Prison and Probation Service) 66% of inmates with longer than a 2-month sentence were drug addicts. Prisoners are subject to random UA drug tests. On average a prisoner is required to provide a urine sample every 18 days. Sweden offers education, vocational training, and addiction treatment programs in prisons. And they believe the deprivation of liberty is the punishment, and other punishment in the prison is not appropriate. This is according to the Prison and Probation Service's own literature. The thing is many of those services are available to prisoners in the US (though it varies by state), but what is officially offered vs what the guards will allow you to do aren't always the same thing. Information about what actually happens in Swedish prisons is not readily available so it's hard to tell. On paper they look like they're doing a good job, with the main goal of trying to keep people from coming back. The recidivism rate after one year is about 35% (according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention) versus about 65% in the US.

Just remember: Sweden requires military service!

No one suggested inmates should be maltreated. In fact I think we've got a consensus that they should be well cared for and treated humanely so you're preaching to the choir there.

Originally Posted by Eroica View Post
Do you really think the majority of people in prison even need to be seaparated from society? Most are non-violent and dont need to be separated at all. Just a very few do. We dont need prisons for that.

OK, non-violent crimes can, and often are, dealt with through probation, community service, etc. In my state, as in many others, the prisons are overcrowded and alternatives to imprisoning people are readily accepted.

How do you propose to separate violent criminals from society without a prison system? Please explain what you mean there.

You ask a lot of rhetorical questions but you still haven't provided any solutions. Since I'm not as creative as you hoped, perhaps you could lay it out for me. What are these creative solutions that are better than what we have, still accomplish whatever goals you think a justice system should have, and separates violent offenders from society (apparently without imprisoning them)?

I'm not saying the system is perfect, in fact I think I've made it clear it needs much improvement in the treatment of prisoners. I even offered up some alternatives. But those solutions aren't acceptable to you, so what's better?
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:45 PM
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I am looking at the Netherlands:Dutch Drug Policy Even More Effective
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:01 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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I agree Tyler that the US is a violent society. But that isn't the reason why we have so many prisoners. It may be the reason why here in Texas we put so many people to death.

Ok here are my solutions to help the addict:

End the drug war.. effect: prison population goes down drastically. Gneiss, most people in prison today are non-violent offenders. Actually a huge precentage If they "fail" their probation, they end up in prison. I think if they're non-violent, they should never be in prison. Instead of making it about me, I'd like to know if you think non-violent criminals deserve to be in prisons. No matter how addicted someone is to drugs, they don't belong in the justice system at all until they harm someone.

End privatization of prisons.. incentive to have prisoners goes down.

This can be done without actually incarcerating them in a place with thousands of other people herded around in chains. We do that to punish them, not for the betterment of society. But because they might pose a danger to other people, they can still be kept away from the general population in more hospitable conditions. Very few people are so dangerous that they need to be separated from people all the time. Hell, some child predators get out of prison before drug users.

End racial profiling.. Most people in prison are poor and either Hispanic or Black. Prison is a racist institution. If you're rich and from the burbs then you can avoid prison no matter how evil you are.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:06 PM
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Great link, Live. No matter how much we put people in jail for drugs, its not deterring people from using.

But at least we're teaching them a lesson! (as ananda would say, "dripping with sarcasm")
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:34 PM
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what I found in a quick look around. By far most of the people imprisoned in Sweden are for theft. This is not necessarily personal violence but it is a sort of violence.

In the 90's the Dutch built more prisons, in 2009 they didn't have enough criminals and were contracting to house criminals from neighboring countries. The Dutch believe that each inmate should have his/her own cell in order to reflect and rehabilitate. They also provide housing and assistance upon release to help the criminal successfully rejoin society.
Their drug use and addiction rates are FAR less than any other of the "industrialized" nations.

If I understand correctly both of these countries contractually serve drug problems as health and societal concerns and not as criminal concerns. The Dutch do distinguish between harm reduction, soft drugs vs drugs with more serious repercussions.

Both these countries consider the loss of liberty as the punishment so do not mete out further punishment within the prison system.

The Dutch consider drug use as unsolvable so have concentrated on harm reduction policies...I think this if far more pragmatic and realistic.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:50 PM
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wikipedia:

In absolute terms, the United States currently has the largest inmate population in the world, with more than 2 million[10] or more than one in a hundred adults[11] in prison and jails. Although the United States represents less than 5% of the world's population, over 25% of the people incarcerated around the world are housed in the American prison system. Pulitzer Prize winning author Joseph T. Hallinan wrote in his book Going Up the River: Travels in a Prison Nation, "so common is the prison experience that the federal government predicts one in eleven men will be incarcerated in his lifetime, one in four if he is black." In 2002, both Russia and China also had prison populations in excess of 1 million.[12] By October 2006, the Russian prison population declined to 869,814 which translated into 611 prisoners per 100,000 population.

As a percentage of total population, the United States also has the largest imprisoned population, with 739 people per 100,000 serving time, awaiting trial or otherwise detained.[13]

The high proportion of prisoners in some developed countries is from various causes, but the attitude toward drug-taking plays a considerable part. In undeveloped countries, rates of incarceration are often lower, though this is not a rule. In general, such societies have less goods to steal and a more community based social system, with less judicial law-enforcement. Also their economies may not support the high cost of incarceration.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Eroica View Post
Great link, Live. No matter how much we put people in jail for drugs, its not deterring people from using.

But at least we're teaching them a lesson! (as ananda would say, "dripping with sarcasm")
for which i appologized...and the post was properly removed as far as i can tell.

Additionally I NEVER said that we should "teach them a lesson".

I understand if you are not willing to forgive Erocia, but....lets try to keep on track with civil discourse.

thank you.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Eroica View Post
I agree Tyler that the US is a violent society. But that isn't the reason why we have so many prisoners. It may be the reason why here in Texas we put so many people to death.

Ok here are my solutions to help the addict:

End the drug war.. effect: prison population goes down drastically. Gneiss, most people in prison today are non-violent offenders. Actually a huge precentage If they "fail" their probation, they end up in prison. I think if they're non-violent, they should never be in prison. Instead of making it about me, I'd like to know if you think non-violent criminals deserve to be in prisons. No matter how addicted someone is to drugs, they don't belong in the justice system at all until they harm someone.

End privatization of prisons.. incentive to have prisoners goes down.

This can be done without actually incarcerating them in a place with thousands of other people herded around in chains. We do that to punish them, not for the betterment of society. But because they might pose a danger to other people, they can still be kept away from the general population in more hospitable conditions. Very few people are so dangerous that they need to be separated from people all the time. Hell, some child predators get out of prison before drug users.

End racial profiling.. Most people in prison are poor and either Hispanic or Black. Prison is a racist institution. If you're rich and from the burbs then you can avoid prison no matter how evil you are.

This isn't about you, Eroica. Instead of answering questions you were posing rhetorical "Do you really think this?" questions. It doesn't matter what I think is happening, a little research can settle a lot of questions.

I already addressed what can be done with non-violent offenders: probation, fines, community service, etc. Even probation violations, unless they are violent offenses, can be dealt with through stricter fines or perhaps use supervised probation rather than unsupervised.

I support the introduction of Truth in Sentencing laws, which formalize the sentencing process so similar crimes receive similar sentences. It takes much of the leeway out of the judge's hands. Make the system a little more honest.

You have good suggestions for helping addicts. Again you bring up the idea that some people should not be in society (violent offenders or child molesters, for example). But if you don't support a prison system at all, what do you do with these people? It's not just a question for argument's sake; I'd actually like to know what you suggest as an alternative to prison. From what you've said above it seems like you would support a prison system with decent living conditions, which I think most everyone has said we support. Is there another alternative?

So here's one: Drunk driving isn't exactly a violent crime but there's certainly the potential for great harm and I think we can all agree it should be illegal. Should you only go to jail if you injure someone else? When does the potential for killing someone outweigh the idea that "he hasn't killed anyone... yet?"
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:21 PM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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My personal experience with detox in jail.

In the Salt Lake County jail everyone coming in is put in housing units called "quarantine". Many people are just there until they make bail or are until they go to court or have real short term sentences. Those sentenced to longer terms however have to wait in the quarantine housing units until a spot opens up for them in there permanent unit.

If there is any detoxing going on it will be in the quarantine housing units. I was in quarantine twice and both times they had a doctor and nurses come in every morning for both physical and mental health problems. I saw people taken out on gurneys a few times when they were getting bad. We all knew it because the would lock down the unit until the inmate was taken out. I did see one person die but I don't think it was from detox. Whether he died because of neglected medical treatment or not I have no idea.

I am going to speculate on this part here. It only makes sense for the state or county to keep inmates alive rather then be sued. So if jails are about money common sense dictates keeping inmates alive. One rule they had to prevent injury was, if you were detoxing you got to be in the bottom bunk. Falling off the top bunk and landing on your head on the cement could cause some serious injuries so you had a good idea of who was detoxing and who wasn't. I was on the bottom bunk.....and that was after going to court and being sentenced. Some of us continue to use even knowing we might get sent to jail because we are alcoholics and addicts and jail just isn't a good enough reason to stop. Until I was in there that is.

As for the conditions in the jail. The jailers were thick skinned and mean, they treated us like animals, animals that they hated. I avoided them at all costs and never had a problem. Watching the jailers I would have to say that is one of the most miserable jobs anyone could have. There is no way I could do that job.

Heroin seemed to be available but I wasn't interested so I didn't go in an alcoholic and come out a heroin addict. Somebody from outside would have to put money on your books in order for you to purchase the food that was traded for drugs. I imagine there are other ways to get the drugs but like I said, I avoided that the same way I avoided the guards.

The jail housing units, 32 cells holding 64 inmates were designated as Minimum security, Medium security, Maximum security and Super Max. I rode shackled in a bus from the court house to the jail with a big group of Max security people and it was the scariest part of the whole experience for me. Generally alcoholics (DUI) and addicts (possession) ended up together in minimum security. I was not there to make friends and trash talk or hang out with the gang bangers but I did find some people that were there simply because the were alcoholics like me and were decent people otherwise.

All housing unites had a couple cells and showers for handicapped or injured people.

The food was horrible, it was all starch and there wasn't enough. The mystery meat started tasting good after a couple of weeks because I was so hungry until I finally got somebody from the outside to put money on my books to buy additional munchies.

They did have AA and NA meetings but not nearly enough. That is something AA and NA provide from the outside so that is up to us.
There was a unit set aside for drug rehab, it was a 60 day course and if you could get into it you could be released early as soon as you graduated it. I tried to get in to keep my sentence down to 2 months but I was unable to get in because most of us in Minimum security inmates were trying to get in.

I think that covers everything in my experience that pertains to what I have read in this thread. I am not posting this because I support the county jail or the justice system. I'm just sharing my experience.

The best thing to do is never be on paper, never get into the system at all. I was on probation for a litle over a year and did violate once. I'm off paper now and don't ever want to be in the system again. Then I don't have to worry about detoxing in jail any more.

I heard wild stories about being on probation and violating probation or being accused of it and getting new charges and going back to jail. Some inmates said they were doing time so they didn't have to be on extended probation. I didn't find any of that to be true.

If your in the system, buckle down, follow a few rules and get off as fast as you can. If your not in the system, stay that way.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:42 PM
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UK pays settlement to prisoners for inhumane treatment regarding drug detox.:

BBC NEWS | UK | Payments for prison 'cold turkey'
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Live View Post
UK pays settlement to prisoners for inhumane treatment regarding drug detox.:

BBC NEWS | UK | Payments for prison 'cold turkey'
That's why it makes financial sense to help inmates through detox. If a state or county really wants to make money off of inmates, tossing them a few benzo's to ease withdrawal really doesn't cost that much money.

That's what I would do if I wanted to make money off of prisoners. Keep em alive.

I know, that is horrible, sorry, glad I'm not in that business.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:05 PM
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LOL thank you, Dean!

I was posting that before I saw your story and I appreciate you sharing your experience, as I have never been in that situation..I simply enjoy sociology!

BTW some of those UK prisoners were given methadone for heroin detox...some of them just didn't like it as well! harumphhhh!

I did just find a reliable statistic from the UK that people who were compelled to work unpaid reoffended 45% less than those who had been imprisoned. I do not know what type of crimes this is in reference to.
So, the stats in my quick research point to community service thus far...
and changing the laws regarding the criminality of drug use of certain types of drugs.

If I recall, the highest rising drugs of addiction are in the area of prescribed drugs and we are not handling that in a coherent, unified matter at all!

PS Don't take hash to Turkey!
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:13 AM
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LOL maybe it depends on the kind of work? I have a friend who did 5 years for a violent felony. For 1 month he was sent to a low security facility and sent out every day to patch road tar for 25 cents an hour. Have you seen the guys out tapping asphalt into potholes with a shovel? That was him... in southern Oklahoma... in July. He got into a fight on purpose so he could go back to medium security and enjoy the air conditioning.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:00 PM
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What timing! Last night a local celebrity here was arrested and held overnight after picking up a package from FedEx that contained Lortab, Clonazapam, and Adderral. Apparently local police were tipped off last summer that he was doctor shopping in town (which I think basically means that doctors or medical staff were name dropping about their patients... so much for medical privacy laws). At that time they didn't charge him with anything and let him go to rehab instead. Well rehab clearly didn't work out so well and Bureau of Narcotics got involved. He was arrested and bonded out this morning and this all hit the news in time for the noon broadcast.

Police said he was in withdrawal in his cell at the city jail (which is really just a holding area, no one stays there for long), shaking and vomiting throughout the night. God that must have been a horrible night. But I've sat up with people going through that (on those drugs, even!), I wasn't worried about them. However, if they'd gotten much worse I was going to call for an ambulance and tell them everything.

What to do? He actually got two women he met in rehab to send him pills from out of state. So rehab's not much of an option for him at this point. Tough question.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by keithj View Post
I would guess quite a bit higher based on the people I met in jail. Although not all the crimes were drug or alcohol related, almost everyone I've met had some 'issues' with chemicals.



That's a fairly absurd notion and not very accurate. I'd bet we'd hear about it if the state was killing hundreds or thousands of people. A single death while incarcerated is a big deal. Big news and big investigation. I'm guessing it's very rare.

I've detoxed in jail before. Not fun and not pretty. I do not think it is the state's responsibility. I think medical care is, so they need to keep people alive. But, at least in my case, the state was more concerned with public safety than my personal comfort level. The primary concern wwas to protect the public from me. Secondary concern was maybe whether I seized or not.
people have issues and need help.and it should be their concern to fix it.ur just like the rest u think u have the answer,but u dont.once they take you in it should be there fking ability to help anyone.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:03 PM
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Welcome to SR andyston.
I hope we'll hear more of your story.

D
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:40 PM
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I am a nurse who used to work in a ridiculously overcrowded jail. Our job was not to fix/detox the inmate with medical/alcohol/drug issues, but to keep them well enough until they either went trial or bonded out. We had medical protocols for our intakes who were forthright enough to tell us ahead of time that they would have alcohol withdrawal while in jail. We then would give them the appropriate withdrawal meds and attempt to monitor them as closely as we could. We also tried to screen the inmates as they came in, but with 400+ inmates and only 2 nurses and people constantly coming and going you can see how hard that would be to do. I'm sure we didn't catch every alcoholic/addict, but no inmates died during the year that I worked at the jail.
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