The legal consequences of drug abuse can vary greatly, but most often, drug offenders are sentenced with hefty fines, probation, or are sent to jail immediately, especially if they have a history of prior arrests. However, going to rehab while on probation can be extremely beneficial, and for individuals on parole, it may even be necessary.
Even under the best conditions and circumstances, starting over after spending time in jail can be difficult. Many people on parole may have difficulties finding employment due to a lack of education, skills, or criminal history. Others may have mental and/or physical health problems that interfere with their ability to reintegrate into society after being in prison. And many individuals who get out of prison are also struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, with little to no recovery support.
Adjusting to adjust to life outside of jail while attempting to live a crime-free and drug-free life is a complex process that requires ongoing support and rehabilitation. A drug and alcohol rehab program can offer a wealth of benefits for people who are on probation, parole, or who are trying to turn over a new leaf after being released from prison.
While many drug offenders are incarcerated following a DUI, DWI, or other drug-related crime, it’s not impossible to get a fresh start after being released from jail. If you’ve been released from prison on parole or you’ve been sentenced to probation and you’re looking for a drug rehab program that will help you begin your new sober life, here’s what you need to know.
Probation and Parole for DUI, DWI, and Other Drug-Related Crimes
Substance abuse and crime are known to be interconnected, with many criminal offenses stemming from addictive behaviors. Although addiction is recognized as a chronic disease that affects behavior and impulse control, many criminal offenders who commit drug-related crimes serve lengthy prison sentences and get out of jail only to pick up where they left off and end up back in jail. In fact, research shows half of all jail inmates are reincarcerated within three years of being released.1
The challenges of adjusting to life outside of jail and maintaining a drug-free lifestyle can be overwhelming for many people who are on parole or who served a full sentence and were recently released from prison. However, there are alternatives to incarceration for drug offenders, one of which is drug court.
People who commit drug-related crimes often end up in drug court, where they are given the opportunity to enter a long-term addiction treatment program instead of going to jail.2 Court-ordered rehab gives them the chance to address the underlying issue (substance abuse) and learn how to live a fulfilling, crime-free life while providing much-needed support.
For criminal offenders who are on parole following an early release from jail, drug rehab may seem like a violation of parole conditions, but enrollment in rehab is often encouraged in the event of a relapse or recurrence of symptoms and can help drug offenders prioritize their recovery while they adjust to life on the outside.
What Are the Benefits of Parole Rehabilitation Programs for Addiction?
The purpose of parole is to help prison inmates re-enter society successfully and avoid becoming a re-offender. This is a great option for inmates who are motivated to change after being released from prison. Additionally, it’s also great for taxpayers, as parole in Texas costs $4 per day per offender and incarceration costs $50.3
Although parole supervision at the end of a prison term reduces the likelihood of future arrest, the Urban Institute study found that drug offenders do not typically benefit from parole supervision.3 In these cases, an addiction treatment program is much more likely to provide the support drug offenders need to maintain their sobriety and successfully reintegrate back into society.
Just a few of the primary benefits of drug rehab for people on parole include:
- A focus on relapse prevention and management
- Life skills development
- Opportunities to engage in healthy relationships with sober people
- Active engagement in a recovery program
- Access to safe and sober housing
- Trauma-informed therapy for self-esteem and identity issues
- Employment and volunteer assistance4
Not only are there many great benefits of attending rehab while on parole, but coming clean and enrolling in a drug rehab program can also show your parole officer and the judge that you’re serious about changing your life and that you’re willing to put in the hard work to get it done.
Can I Go to Rehab While on Probation?
Yes. Going to rehab on probation is often highly encouraged by judges and other law enforcement professionals who work in probation and parole departments. In recent years, the legal system has begun to change the handling of drug-related criminal arrests and sentencing. As such, court-ordered drug rehab is now much more common than it used to be. This is great news for addicted individuals who would prefer to be sent to an addiction treatment center rather than jail.
However, if you are on probation and you want to go to rehab, you should maintain ongoing communication with your probation officer and keep the limitations of your probation in mind, as any violation could have serious consequences such as immediate arrest or jail time.
For example, if you violate the terms of your probation and use drugs or bring them with you to the rehab center, the staff will be required to report this to your probation officer and you will immediately be sent to jail.
Before you commit to rehab while on probation, you should speak with your probation officer first to get permission. Most often, the probation officer and a judge will need to sign a few documents that you will need to take with you to the addiction treatment center. This is especially true if the facility is located outside of the state where you have been sentenced to probation.
What to Expect From a Rehab Program While on Probation or Parole
If you’re on parole and you’re suffering from addiction, communicating honestly with your parole officer about going to rehab may be the best choice. Going to rehab after prison may not be your idea of “freedom,” but it will provide you with the tools you need to prevent relapse and avoid going back to jail for violating the conditions of your parole.
Many people who enroll in rehab while they are on parole, but it’s completely understandable if you don’t know where or how to start looking for help. Once you communicate with your parole officer about your substance abuse problems, he or she may be able to refer you to a drug therapist or rehab program.
Depending on your circumstances and your treatment needs, there are several different types of rehab options that may cater to your individual situation, including:
Regardless of what type of drug rehab program you participate in or which rehab center you choose, you will still need to abide by the conditions of your parole while you are enrolled in rehab. This means you’ll need to report to your parole officer regularly, not break the law, and agree to law enforcement searches of your vehicle, home, and personal possessions, among other common conditions of parole.5
While you are in treatment, your counselors and/or therapists may also communicate with your parole officer to provide updates on your treatment progress. The rehab center may also send the results of all your drug tests to your parole officer as evidence of your ongoing sobriety.
Although there will likely be some behind-the-scenes work that makes it possible for you to attend detox, rehab, or sober living while on parole, this shouldn’t affect your treatment experience negatively.
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) on Parole or Probation
IOP (intensive outpatient program) is a type of outpatient drug rehab program that provides structured group treatment sessions and evidence-based therapies to help individuals maintain their sobriety and adjust to sober life outside of an inpatient setting. IOP offers a high level of support and structure to decrease the likelihood of relapse, boost self-confidence in sobriety, and address physical or psychological issues in recovery.
At Nova Recovery Center, IOP is a robust treatment program that consists of three group sessions per week for a total of eight weeks. Treatment sessions primarily focus is on life skills, relapse prevention, and peer support, with group discussions covering a variety of topics, including:
- Social skills
- Restructuring thoughts
- Family dynamics
- The science of addiction
Intensive outpatient programs are an excellent treatment option for people on parole, as they provide comprehensive treatment with the flexibility to continue working, going to school, or maintaining other personal responsibilities and commitments.
Going to Rehab After Prison: The Start of a New Beginning
Going to rehab after prison or while you’re on parole is an excellent opportunity to start fresh and change your life. In rehab, you’ll gain the tools and life skills necessary to establish and maintain a healthy, sober lifestyle in recovery and hopefully, never see the inside of a jail cell again.
With IOP locations in Austin and Houston, Nova’s intensive outpatient program is ideal for people on parole or probation who are looking for a fresh start. We also offer a full continuum of care with medical detox, 90-day residential rehab, sober living, and peer-monitoring aftercare services to help you maintain lasting sobriety.
If you have questions about rehab and probation or parole and you’re ready for a fresh start, a representative at Nova Recovery Center is available to help you. Call (888) 343-1967 to speak with a member of our admissions team about our treatment options.