Law Enforcement Deflection Programs: Community Oriented Approaches to Opiod Use Disorders

Dr. Albert M. Kopak

Substance-related disorders are among the most prevalent behavioral health disorders in our criminal justice system. Data collected among adult jail inmates has shown that as much as two thirds of this population. Despite our basic understanding of the disproportionate presence of these disorders in detention facilities and the system at-large, we do not have a wealth of empirical information about the associations between opiate use disorders and criminal recidivism among local criminal justice populations. This presentation will begin with an overview of data recently collected from a random sample of 200 rural county jail inmates from North Carolina who completed the Comprehensive Addictions and Psychological Evaluation – Fifth Edition (CAAPE-5). The CAAPE-5 (which is compatible with the DSM-5) covers substance use disorders (SUDs) and mental health disorders (MHDs). Arrest and jail booking records for the prior 12 months were also recorded. This workshop will accomplish three primary objectives. (1) Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted mental and behavioral health issues among adults with severe SUDs (particularly heroin) in the criminal justice system. (2) Explain the importance of identifying risk factors for persistent criminal justice involvement among adults with severe SUDs (i.e. heroin). (3) Utilize this information to inform the audience of newly implemented, practical law enforcement led programs which are currently operating for the benefit of adults with severe SUDs in many communities across the US.

Albert Kopak

Albert Kopak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. He received his Ph.D. in Justice Studies from Arizona State University, a Master of Science degree in Criminology from Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology from the same institution. Albert has conducted a significant amount of research on the management of substance use disorders in the criminal justice system, especially as these relate to offending patterns. He has also examined several factors associated with successful outcomes among substance use treatment patients who received services while under the supervision of the criminal justice system. This work has served as the basis for more than 40 peer-reviewed publications.

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