STATE FUNDING FOR DRUG AND ALCOHOL TREATMENT
 
WHEREAS, in 1994 the Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission made changes to the Sentencing Guidelines recommending Restrictive Intermediate Punishment (RIP) for offenders who previously were recommended for county jail incarceration;

WHEREAS, the Sentencing Guidelines changes also required that all offenders being considered for RIP:

1) receive a drug and alcohol evaluation by a licensed treatment program; and

2) where assessed to be in need of treatment, receive the called-for level of treatment as a condition of their non-incarceration (RIP) sentence;

WHEREAS, in the 1994-95 budget, inadequate funding (only $5.3 million) was provided for the additional treatment that would be needed under this change;

WHEREAS, less than 10% (only $475,000) of that already insufficient amount actually went to treatment;

WHEREAS, the Parole Board, assigned with distributing these funds, gave over 90% of it away to other nontreatment areas, such as expanding the number of county staff positions;

WHEREAS, nearly 60 to 80% of Philadelphia's criminal offenders are addicted to drugs or alcohol;

WHEREAS, in order to jam a wedge into the revolving door of today's criminal justice system, it is necessary to sufficiently fund drug and alcohol treatment efforts to stop recidivism by the addicted majority of criminal offenders;

WHEREAS, the more dramatic long-term cost offset ($7 return for every dollar invested in treatment, according to a California study discussed in the attached Washington Post article) would show its effect in steadily decreasing criminal justice system, state Medicaid system and welfare costs;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association urges the legislature to increase funding in the 1995-96 state budget for drug and alcohol treatment for criminal offenders by

1) fully funding Act 152 (legislation which provides state Medicaid funding for hospital, residential drug and alcohol treatment)

2) fully funding RIP treatment (estimated by the Sentencing commission to be approximately $25 million)

3) specifying that at least 90% of RIP funds must actually go to treatment, provided by licensed, non-profit treatment programs experienced in treating criminals with addiction;

4) assigning the task of distributing these RIP funds to the Office of Drug and Alcohol Programs or the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency; and

5) monitoring treated offenders to get data about the subseguent behavior of those placed in RIP treatment and those not receiving such treatment.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chancellor is hereby authorized to communicate this position to the Governor and to the legislature.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: May 25, 1995