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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 212055 Find in a Library
Title: Exploration of Prisoners' and Prison Staff's Perceptions of the Methadone Maintenance Programme in Mountjoy Male Prison, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Journal: Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy  Volume:12  Issue:5  Dated:October 2005  Pages:405-416
Author(s): Tony Carlin
Date Published: October 2005
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study--which was conducted in Ireland's main prison, Mountjoy Male Prison in Dublin--used semistructured interviews and a focus group to explore staff's and inmates' perceptions of methadone maintenance within the prison setting.
Abstract: At the time of the study, Mountjoy's daily average population was 465, out of which approximately 38 percent were receiving methadone maintenance. This study was conducted over a 4-month period in 2003 and involved semistructured interviews with 15 inmates and 16 prison staff, as well as a focus group of 8 inmates, 6 of whom had previously been on methadone maintenance. The study's focus was on perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of the prison's methadone maintenance program, as well as the program's function and purpose within the prison. Both staff and inmates were generally positive about the prison's methadone program. Inmates perceived it as contributing to an improvement in their relationships with family members, and staff viewed it as facilitating a more stable and safe working environment. Although inmates' use of heroin had reportedly declined since the start of the methadone maintenance program in the prison, their use of other drugs persisted. There were criticisms by both inmates and staff about the way methadone is dispensed in the prison, and methadone was viewed as being just as addictive as heroin. The five purposes of methadone maintenance identified by participants were to ensure continuity of harm-reduction policies promoted in the community; to reduce the supply of heroin in the prison; to prevent needle sharing and the spread of blood-borne infections; to treat heroin addiction; and to maintain inmate order and discipline within the prison. The latter purpose was widely viewed by both staff and inmates as being of greater importance than the more conventional harm-reduction functions linked to methadone maintenance. 35 references
Main Term(s): Inmate drug treatment
Index Term(s): Correctional personnel attitudes; Foreign criminal justice research; Heroin maintenance; Inmate attitudes; Ireland; Methadone detoxification treatment; Methadone maintenance; Treatment effectiveness
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