Changes in inmates' substance use and dependence from pre-incarceration to one year post-release

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Purpose To assess changes in inmates' misuse of substances from pre- to post-incarceration. Methods In Study 1, professionals (n = 162) and laypersons (n = 50) predicted how jail inmates' substance misuse would change from pre-incarceration to post-release. In Study 2, a longitudinal study of 305 jail inmates, we examined actual changes in substance use and dependence from pre-incarceration to the first year post-incarceration, as well as whether changes varied as a function of demographic, criminal justice, treatment, and personality factors. Results Professionals and laypersons predicted little change in substance misuse whereas, in fact, inmates' frequency of substance use and dependence decreased substantially from pre-incarceration to post-release. Sharper decreases were observed for inmates who were female, younger, more educated, serving longer sentences, enrolled in substance abuse treatment, high in shame-proneness, and low in criminogenic thinking. Race, first time incarceration, transfer to other correctional facilities, mandated community supervision (probation), and guilt-proneness did not predict changes in substance use or dependence. Conclusions Although substance misuse decreased, this remains a population high in need of substance abuse treatment both upon arrest and at one year post-incarceration; 60% of former inmates met at least one DSM-IV criterion for substance dependence at one year post-release.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tangney, JP; Folk, JB; Graham, DM; Stuewig, JB; Blalock, DV; Salatino, A; Blasko, BB; Moore, KE

Published Date

  • September 1, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 46 /

Start / End Page

  • 228 - 238

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0047-2352

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2016.05.002

Citation Source

  • Scopus