October 1st, 2012

Majority of third-strike inmates are addicts, records show

Convicts imprisoned under California’s three strikes law are no more inclined to high-risk “criminal thinking” than other inmates, but are far more likely to be addicted to drugs and alcohol, according to data from the state prisons department.

Our new data analysis, conduced with the San Francisco Chronicle, reveals that in all, nearly 70% of convicts with a third strike show a high need for substance abuse treatment, compared with 48% of all inmates tested. Currently, only 15-20% of inmates receive any education, therapy or drug treatment.

Read the full story here.

Photo: Inmate counselor Vincent Russo talks about healthy relationships at an Addiction Recovery Counseling meeting at San Quentin State Prison in August. Credit: Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle

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California Watch, the largest investigative journalism team operating in the state, was launched in 2009 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting. Areas of coverage include education, health and welfare, public safety, the environment and the influence of money on the political and regulatory process.