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Drug Abuse and Sexual Risk Behavior Increases Parole Revocation

Update Date: Apr 14, 2012 12:29 AM EDT

Drug abuse and sexual risk behavior was found to increase parole revocation, according to a new study.

David Wyatt Seal, Michelle Parisot, and Wayne DiFranceisco interviewed 126 state-prison inmates who had been reincarcerated due to parole violations. These ex-parolees were asked about their behavior throughout the three-month period prior to their parole revocation. The authors found that throughout this period of time, a majority of men shared two things in common: drug use and sex with multiple partners.

The researchers wrote, "Our findings further document the need to focus effort on the prevention of substance abuse and sexual risk behavior among men who are on parole."

The researchers suggested that certain prevention programs could be created to focus on the behaviors among specific types of men on parole. 

For example, although younger men limited their drug use before their parole was revoked, they reported higher incidents of unprotected sex, a behavior that put themselves and others at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. The authors stated that this group of men would benefit from prevention programs that target reducing risky sexual behavior after incarceration.

They also found that though many parolees with a history of substance abuse had gone through alcohol and drug abuse treatment programs while in prison, they reported more hard drug use during the three-month time period before being reincarcerated. Thus, the researchers concluded that prison treatment programs do not effectively enable men to avoid drug relapses after they are released from prison.

"This failure to adequately impede substance abuse among men during incarceration increases the probability that they will remain entrapped in a cycle of repeated incarceration," stated the authors. "Indeed, two thirds of people released from prisons in the United States are reincarcerated within three years, many for substance use violations."

The study appears in the Journal of Correctional Health Care (JCHC), published by SAGE. 

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