Ice-addicted prisoners will be the target of a Victorian-first scheme to break the link between methamphetamine use and crime.
Under a pilot program that begins today, inmates with a high risk of reoffending and a history of ice use will have intensive treatment to help them stay away from crime when they re-enter the community.
The program involves 44 hours (usually three months for between eight and 12 men) of intensive treatment, including cognitive behavioural therapy, specifically designed to reduce reoffending among ice users.
The pilot, which is being run by drug and alcohol counsellors Caraniche, will begin at Marngoneet and Hopkins prisons with 12 prisoners each. Loddon Prison will follow.
It joins two other ice-specific pilots that aim to minimise the harm of ice use and keep the community safe:
- A 24-hour program aimed at increasing prisoners’ understanding of their ice use and the effect on their mental health that started on August 17
- A six-hour harm-minimisation education program that began this year to help prisoners understand the effects of withdrawal and long-term use, as well as where to find support
Until now, ice-addicted prisoners could only be treated under general drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.
The new approach comes as ice has replaced heroin as the most-used drug among prisoners entering the system
The treatments complement the Andrews Labor Government’s Ice Action Plan – a $45.5 million program tackling the use of ice in our community.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Wade Noonan
“Ice is different to other drugs. We need to fight ice on all fronts, and that includes in our prisons.”
“Ice-addicted prisoners will be helped to break the link between drug use and crime.”
“Ice is linked to crime, so by introducing these programs, we aim to reduce the chance of prisoners reoffending and keep the community safer.”