Prisoners of War –
Dec. 9, 2020 – “They understand our concerns and recognize there is a substantial backlog,” he said. “What’s not clear yet is how quickly the backlog can be reduced.”
Despite concern about delays, Fama also acknowledged that California’s prisons are ahead of the curve in terms of addiction treatment. In fact, some addiction policy experts say that the state’s prisons are still doing far more than those elsewhere in the country, many of which don’t provide any kind of medication for substance-abuse disorders.
California’s sweeping treatment program was launched in response to years of rising opioid-related overdoses in its prisons. A 2017 analysis of inmate deaths found that the fatality rate from drug overdoses in California prisons was three times higher than in any other prison system in the country.
Ike Dodson, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said in a statement that state prisons began offering a comprehensive drug rehabilitation program at the start of this year. There has been “tremendous interest from the inmate population” he said, noting that over 6,600 inmates in 35 state prisons currently receive medication-assisted treatment.