Family and Community Support and Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper : the end 'the addict has to want to change' and if the addict does not want to change it does not matter what program..." that the addict is in. (National Institute of Justice, 2005) the National Institute of Justice reports that a woman "often retains legal custody of a child while in prison, and once out, may not have the child immediately returned to her by the family member caring for the child." (2005)

Sarah Samson reports in the work entitled: "Groundbreaking Study Identifies Crucial Factors for Successful Community Reintegration of Ex-Prisoners in Baltimore" published in 2004, that Programs that help prisoners stay connected with their families, get drug treatment, and work while in prison can increase the chances that they will successfully reintegrate back into society, according to a new study released today by the nonpartisan Urban Institute. The study breaks new ground by recording prisoners' perspectives on reentering society." (2004) This report states specifically in relation to family support that "families were a critical factor as to whether people succeeded on the outside by providing financial and emotional support and linking people to jobs. After they were released, the largest share of respondents (51%) relied on their families to support them although before being released 54% had said they expected to be able to support themselves." (Samson, 2004)

Samson reports findings that relate that the analysis found: "...that respondents with closer family relationships, stronger family support, and fewer negative dynamics in relationships with intimate partners were more likely to have worked after release and were less likely to have used drugs. It is evident that family support, when it exists, is a strong asset that can be brought to the table in the reentry planning process." (Samson, 2004) Specifically stated in relation to substance abuse programs are that "a significant majority (78%) of those interviewed used drugs prior to incarceration. However, only a fraction of those (35%) who needed treatment received assistance while in prison. The research shows that those who did get substance abuse treatment while incarcerated were more likely to stay out of prison, find and keep jobs and enjoy family stability." (Samson, 2004)

The Urban Institute has reported recent findings from the Urban Institute on Families and Reentry report states that before they were released that more than half of those in prison in Maryland's 'Returning Home' study "reported that family support would be an important factor in helping them avoid returning to prison." (2004) This report relates that "relatively few" inmates have ongoing and regular contact with family members while in prison. In fact, only a mere thirteen percent of those participating in this study "had in-person contact with family members or children, and 29% had visits from partners."(Urban Institute, 2004) Community support is also noted as sadly lacking in the present criminal justice prison system.


Research Design

This research design is one that is both qualitative and quantitative in nature and will be conducted through the instrument of a survey/questionnaire administered to a randomly selected sampling of female inmates in the prison system. The survey/questionnaires will be distributed to female inmates who have successfully completed drug abuse treatment programs in prison in order to discover what factors affected their successful completion of this program. As well the survey/questionnaires will be distributed to a random sampling of female inmates in prison who did not complete the drug abuse treatment program to use as a comparison and contrast in the study in determining the factors that most strongly support the inmates completion of the drug abuse treatment program and the factors that most strongly indicated the reason for the prison inmates failures in completing the drug abuse treatment program. The National Institute of Justice Report (2005) has informed this study that many women incarcerated in prison still retain custody of their minor children therefore; this study will seek to understand as well the affect that this has upon the successful completion of a drug abuse treatment program by female prison inmates.

Dependent Variables

The dependent variables in this study are that the sampling will be derived from among females, who are also inmates in prison, and who have attended drug abuse treatment programs while in prison and who also have failed to successfully complete or who have successfully completed the drug abuse treatment program.

Independent Variables

The independent variables in this study will include those of:

1) Presence of family or social support;

2) Contact with children while in treatment;

3) Contact with spouse, parents or other family member or close community contact while in treatment;

4) Whether drug abuse is in the history of the family of the inmate;

5) Whether a mentor in the community exists for the inmate; and 6) Whether the inmate has a history of sexual abuse or psychological illness.


Do you have children?

Do you have minor children?

Please state your age:

Please state your race:

Have your successfully completed a prison-based substance abuse and dependence program?

Was your family, children, or community in any manner involved with or supportive of the program?

What crime resulted in you being incarcerated?

Do you have custody of your minor child?

Who is the minor child currently living with? (check the answer that applies)

Other parent


Foster parents

Other family member

If you answered 'Other' then please state with whom the child lives at present

What age were you when you first used drugs? (check the answer that applies)

Below the age of 13

Age 13-17

Age 17- 21

Age 21-25

25 and above Have you successfully completed drug abuse treatment?

Have you attempted to complete a drug abuse treatment program in the past and failed?

Is there a history of drug abuse in your family?

Have other family members successfully complete drug abuse treatment and abstained from the use of drugs?

Does your family support your return to home and the community?

Is your community supportive of your return to your place within the community?

Are there treatment programs available in the area in which you live?

Do you know others who have successfully quit using drugs for a long period of time?

Do you have someone in your home or community you will feel free to go to for support and mentoring when you feel tempted to use drugs?

Did you greatly desire to quit using and continue abstain from using drugs at the time you entered the drug abuse treatment program?

Are you presently, or will you be in the future involved in re-entry programs or initiatives that prepare you to integrate with your family and community after being released from prison?

If you are not involved in any such program, then why not?

No family outside No family or community contacts outside of prison


Baltimore Prisoners' Experiences Returning Home," by Christy Visher, Vera Kachnowski, Nancy La Vigne, and Jeremy Travis, has been made possible by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, OSI-Baltimore, the Abell Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Maryland Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, and the John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Community Supervision and Reentry (2008) Urban Institute Prison Reentry Portfolio. Online available at

Pelissier, Bernadette (2004) Gender Differences in Substance Use Treatment Entry and Retention Among Prisoner with Substance Use Histories. Research and Practice. American Journal of Public Health August 2004. Vol. 94 No. 8. Online available at

Powell, M. Anne; and Nolan, Clare (2003) California State Prisoners with Children:

Prendergrast, Michael; Hall, Elizabeth; and Wellisch, Jean (2003) Outcome Evaluation of the Forever Free Substance Abuse Treatment Program: One-Year Post-Release Outcomes. U.S. Department of Justice. 2003. Online available at

Reentry Programs for Women Inmates (2005) National Institute of Justice Journal No. 252 July 2005. Online available at

Rhodes, William and Gross, Michael (1987) Case Management Reduces Drug Use and Criminality Among Drug-Involved Arrestees: An Experimental Study of HIV Prevention Intervention. National Institute of Justice Report. April 1987. Online available at

Samson, Sarah (2004) Groundbreaking Study Identifies Crucial Factors for Successful Community Reintegration of Ex-Prisoners in Baltimore. Open Society Institute, Baltimore Maryland 15 Mar 2004 Online available at:

Zinston, Erin G. (2006) Preparing Incarcerated Parents for Reintegration in Families: An Evaluative Study. Ohio State University. 2006. Online available at:…

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