Addiction Treatment — And Its Limitations — In Vermont Prisons

Feb 27, 2018

Dealing with addiction in prison is complicated. For some, it helps them get away from the drugs and into treatment. But treatment while incarcerated can be limited, and those leaving prison often face the greatest risk of a relapse.

We're looking at those limitations and some bills lawmakers are pushing to expand treatment options for incarcerated opioid addicts.

Annie Ramniceanu, the Mental Health Systems Director for Vermont's Department of Corrections, joins Vermont Edition to explain what is and is not available to prisoners grappling with addiction, and the limitation to some forms of treatment behind bars.

She's also explain how prisoners access MAT (or medication-assisted treatment) and how that treatment can continue as inmates transition back into their communities.

Also with us will be Heather Newcomb, the Work Readiness program manager with Vermont Works for Women.

In recovery for 14 years herself, Newcomb shares the struggles of some of the women in her weekly Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility program, many of whom face challenges related to addiction.

We also hear from Tom Dalton with Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform about some pending legislation aimed at addressing gaps in Vermont's inmate treatment system.

Broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.