Addressing the Issue of Problem Gambling in the Criminal Justice System: A Series of Case Studies
The prevalence rates of problem gambling in the adult correctional population are 5 to 10 times higher than those found in the general population. Yet little has been published about dealing with problem gamblers in correctional settings. We conducted a literature review and interviewed 16 key informants who provide services to clients experiencing problem gambling and/or who have worked in the criminal justice system. Our objective was to gain greater understanding of programming for problem gambling for clients who are involved in the criminal justice system, with a particular focus on Ontario. The published literature on this topic is remarkably sparse. In fact, only two peer-reviewed published studies were identified that formally evaluated a treatment program for problem gambling for clients in these settings. However, we uncovered a small number of programs (10) that had been developed for, and delivered to, this population, including a gambling treatment court in Buffalo, Gamblers Anonymous, outpatient treatment during probation or parole, brief psychoeducational programs, brief therapy, a full intense treatment program, and inpatient treatment after release. We present a series of short case studies of these programs. Although some programs have been delivered within correctional institutions, others have been offered either after release or prior to sentencing. A major issue is the lack of awareness of problem gambling in the criminal justice system among judges, lawyers, wardens, corrections workers, and parole officers. The results are discussed in terms of issues and opportunities for programming for problem gamblers in the criminal justice system.
Chez la population carcérale adulte, les taux de prévalence du jeu compulsif sont de cinq à dix fois plus élevés que dans l’ensemble de la population. Pourtant, peu de choses ont été publiées sur les joueurs pathologiques en milieu correctionnel. Nous avons effectué une revue de la littérature et avons interviewé 16 informateurs clés qui fournissent des services aux clients ayant un problème de jeu ou qui ont travaillé dans le système de justice pénale. Notre objectif consistait à mieux comprendre les programmes pour traiter le jeu compulsif destinés aux clients qui ont eu des démêlés avec la justice, avec un intérêt particulier pour l’Ontario. Étonnamment, il existe très peu de publications sur ce sujet. En effet, nous n’avons trouvé que deux comptes rendus d’étude publiés et validés par un comité de lecture qui ont évalué en bonne et due forme un programme de traitement pour le jeu pathologique destiné aux clients de ce milieu. Toutefois, nous avons découvert un petit nombre de programmes (10) qui ont été élaborés à l’intention de cette population, et qui lui ont été offerts, notamment un programme judiciaire de traitement du jeu pathologique à Buffalo, le groupe d’aide Joueurs Anonymes, un traitement ambulatoire durant la probation ou la libération conditionnelle, des programmes psychopédagogiques de courte durée, une thérapie brève, un programme complet de traitement intensif et un traitement en établissement après la libération. Nous présentons une série de courtes études de cas de ces programmes. Bien que certains de ces programmes aient été offerts dans des établissements correctionnels, d’autres ont été proposés après la libération ou avant la condamnation. Le principal problème réside dans le fait que les juges, les avocats, les directeurs, les intervenants correctionnels et les agents de libération conditionnelle connaissent mal le jeu pathologique dans le cadre du système de justice pénale. Les résultats sont analysés en fonction des difficultés et des avantages des programmes destinés aux joueurs pathologiques qui ont eu des démêlés avec la justice.
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