The last article by Lori Mills from the John Howard Society of Alberta is entitled “A Cost Benefit Analysis of Methadone Maintenance Therapy in Canadian Federal Prisons.” The purpose of this research is to explore the cost/benefit ratio of expanding existing methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) in Canadian federal prisons. The article begins with a summary of the history of methadone as a treatment for heroin addicted individuals, with specific attention paid to the current statutory obligations of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and its implementation and ongoing operation of its National MMT Program. The remainder of the article provides a cost/benefit analysis of MMT in Canadian federal prisons as a specific strategy in Canadian drug policy. In particular, this article considers the impact that MMT has on inmates with HIV, AIDS and/or Hepatitis C, as well as their future criminality and ongoing drug use. Relevant studies and literature reviews are comparatively assessed. Finally, this article provides a series of recommendations and conclusions in support of the development and implementation of a policy to expand existing MMT programs in Canadian federal prisons to all who are medically determine to benefit from substitution therapy.

From the general to the specific, these articles present important analyses and viewpoints on current drug policy in Canada from individuals working in the voluntary sector. The John Howard Society of Canada is grateful for this opportunity to assist in the development of the policy skills in this important part of Canadian society, and we hope that the information and analyses presented here assist others in their attempts to gain reliable knowledge on this timely and important topic.

Gerald Thomas
The John Howard Society of Canada
April 2003
Kingston, Ontario