New study explores how to decrease risky behavior among parolees in the community

April 12, 2012

Police officers are always trying to control the misconduct of those who are on parole in order to control crime in the community, but what types of behaviors land them back in jail and what can law enforcement officials do about it? A recent article in the Journal of Correctional Health Care (JCHC), published by SAGE, discusses how to target the most common risky behaviors among specific groups of parolees in order to lower crime in the community.

Researchers David Wyatt Seal, Michelle Parisot, and Wayne DiFranceisco interviewed 126 state-prison inmates who had been reincarcerated due to . These ex-parolees were asked about their behavior throughout the three-month period prior to their parole revocation. The researchers found that throughout this period of time, a majority of men shared two things in common: drug use and sex with multiple partners.

The authors wrote, "Our findings further document the need to focus effort on the prevention of substance abuse and sexual risk behavior among men who are on parole."

The researchers stated that certain could be created to target the behaviors among specific types of men on parole. For example, though younger men limited their drug use before their parole was revoked, they reported higher incidents of unprotected sex, a behavior that put themselves and others at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. The researchers stated that this group of men would benefit from prevention programs that focus on reducing after incarceration.

Seal, Parisot, and DiFranceisco also found that although many with a history of substance abuse had gone through alcohol and drug abuse treatment programs while incarcerated, they reported more hard drug use during the three-month time period before being reincarcerated. Thus, the researchers concluded that prison treatment programs do not effectively enable men to avoid drug relapses after they are released from prison.

"This failure to adequately impede substance abuse among men during incarceration increases the probability that they will remain entrapped in a cycle of repeated incarceration," wrote the authors. "Indeed, two thirds of people released from prisons in the United States are reincarcerated within three years, many for substance use violations."

Explore further: Meth use fuels higher rates of unsafe sex, HIV risk in young men who have sex with men

More information: The article "Substance Use and Sexual Behavior among Men Prior to Parole Revocation: Prevalence and Correlates" from the Journal of Correctional Health is available free for a limited time at: jcx.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/03/12/1078345811435322.full.pdf+html

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