AT LEAST 150 WORDS EACH RESPONSE, 1 REFERENCE
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Joe is a 34 year old Caucasian male who is currently homeless. Jose is in need of Medicaid benefits in order to remain in his treatment program. Joe is receiving treatment at the Mentally III Chemical Abuser partial hospitalization program at the local community mental health center for clients who are dually diagnosed. Jose was selling marijuana whole in college and was arrested and convicted pf possession and was given three years. Since his arrest Joe reports that this has “ruined his life” (Plummer, Makris & Brocksen 2014).
Research has documented the defects in alcohol and drug programs in which in the United States they tend to fail due to the insufficient time spent with patients, linking them to services, lack of medically trained staff and the unorganized dynamics (Humphreys & McLellan 2011).
There are many gaps within this case. First Joe was released without informing family or possibly searching for someone who he can live with. In many cases inmates have no family and they request to “expire: (complete their sentence) so they can be released without parole. I believe a diversion program should be created to help link inmates after they complete their sentence so they can easily transition back into the community
To help Joe, a transitional program would be most beneficial Locating a mental health therapist and work and training programs to help build experience. Networking within the community needs to take place that can take in ex-felons to work on building a resume and possibly long term employment. Possible weekly check-in with a substance abuse counselor but also a case worker to connect to living skills and linking to medical health insurance (Maddess & Hooper 2000).
Humphreys, K., & McLellan, A. T. (2011). A policy-oriented review of strategies for improving the outcomes of services for substance use disorder patients. Addiction, 106(12), 2058-2066. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03464.x
Maddess, P., & Hooper, D. (2000). WASHINGTON STATE’S TRANSITIONAL PROGRAM Helps Special Need Offenders. Corrections Today, 62(7), 80.
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore: MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].
Joe is faced with many challenges including substance abuse issues, mental illness, and probably the most hindering, a previous drug charge (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014). The policies that are in place due to the previous drug charges, although several years prior, prevent Joe from obtaining means tested programs that are needed to meet his basic needs. Due to the applicable state regulations, Joe is denied Medicaid, which is necessary to prevent an interruption in his mental health treatment and he has not been unable to secure employment or adequate housing due to his prior charges (Plummer et al, 2014). Joe’s dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance abuse place him in a classification where lost productivity and an inability to earn wages is common and “reduced earnings are due to incarceration and national and state expenditures on the criminal justice system and drug interdiction” (Popple & Leighninger, 2015, pg 167).
The gaps that are present in Joe’s service indicate that there is an inability to obtain medical coverage due to a previous conviction, even though he is making progress towards rehabilitation, a lack of advocacy for financial benefits such as Supplemental Security Insurance due to his inability to work for reasons associated with mental illness and substance abuse, an inability to obtain vocational assistance, job coaching, or services that are provided to assist individuals re-entering the community after incarceration. According to Humphreys and McLellan (2011), research shows us that there is a significant lack of substance abuse disorder care that is beneficial in the United States.
A strategy that I may utilize to address these issues is advocating for policy change in regards to individuals that are making rehabilitative progress and have had a period of time lapse in relation to their charges. For instance, Joe is seeking treatment and has been substance free for 6 months (Plummer et al, 2014) so a policy change that indicated that he would be eligible for benefits as long as he continued with treatment and continued to be substance free would be beneficial and life changing for individuals like Joe. I would also advocate and link Joe to a re-entry program that could assist with vocational issues and other barriers commonly faced by incarcerated individuals when they are rejoining the community. Finally, it would be beneficial to assist Joe in the process of applying for Social Security Insurance so that, if approved, he would receive a monthly benefit that would assist him in establishing housing.
Humphreys, K., & McLellan, A.T. (2011). A policy-oriented review of strategies for improving the outcomes of services for substance use disorder patients. In Addiction, 106 (12), 2058-2066.
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S.M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].
Popple, P.R., & Leighninger, L. (2015). The policy-based profession: An introduction to social welfare policy analysis for social workers. (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.