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An extension of collateral consequences: Impact on the recovery process

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Dated: 2019
Date Published

Since the War on Drugs brought a punitive approach to drug use and addiction that has resulted in a large increase in the prison population of those who use drugs, the current study examined the distinctive impacts this approach has had on those who commit crime and also have a substance-use dependence. 


The analysis is based on 32 semi-structured life event narratives of individuals with substance use histories originally released from prison in the early 1990's and re-interviewed in 2010. The interview narratives revealed the nuanced impact of collateral consequences that affect individuals who have both a criminal record and an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. These consequences impacted not only their ability to reintegrate successfully into the community after prison, but also limited their recovery efforts. The implications of these findings include advancing alternatives to incarceration and expanding support services, enhancing harm reduction policies, and promoting diversion options for individuals committing crimes who portray chronic addiction. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019