Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mandiberg & Harris on Alcohol- and Drug-Free Housing

Susan Mandiberg (Lewis & Clark) and Richard Harris (Independent) have posted Alcohol- and Drug-Free Housing: A Key Strategy in Breaking the Cycle of Addiction and Recidivism (McGeorge Law School) on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

Drug addicts and alcoholics commit an enormous number of crimes. The only successful strategy for managing the criminality is to get these offenders into recovery. However, many, if not most offenders fail to achieve sustained abstinence from addictive substances while in prison. The problem is that addicts and alcoholics who return to a social milieu that either supports or does not discourage the use of drugs and alcohol are more likely to fail to overcome their addictions, even when they have participated in traditional treatment. Drug addicts and alcoholics can avoid this dilemma by choosing to live in a community of people committed to live free of drugs and alcohol, whether or not they are on parole or probation. Experience and evidence show that living in properly structured and operated alcohol- and drug-free housing, combined with outpatient treatment and other services, is an effective way to address addiction and the criminality that accompanies it, and thus to stop the cycle of recidivism for those ex-convicts who participate in that community. This article traces the experience of Central City Concern, a private, nonprofit housing, social service, and health care agency in Portland, Oregon, that has successfully developed this type of recovery housing over the past 30 years. The article places this experience in the legal context of federal and state laws that both support and potentially frustrate the operation of such alcohol- and drug-free housing: federal anti-discrimination law, federal housing law, and state and local landlord-tenant law.

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