AMONG THE LATEST RESEARCH POSTED AT http://www.ncjrs.gov/. CHECK FOR OTHER ARTICLES OF INTEREST THERE AS WELL.
Case Management and Think First Completion
Probation Journal: The Journal of Community and Criminal Justice Volume:53 Issue:3 Dated:September 2006 Pages:213 to 229
This study explored the nature of effective case management using small-scale research of case management practice and probationer completion of an accredited group, the Think First group. The key finding show that the relationship-based aspects of case management work with offenders cannot be both impersonal and effective. The results indicate that the case manager is integral to the engagement and completion of the program by offenders. The findings suggest that emerging frameworks for effective relationship-based case management work that combine a humanistic approach with approaches developed specifically for nonvoluntary settings should be more effective at reducing offender attrition than impersonal relationship approaches. Specification implications of the findings for case management practices are outlined, including how case managers should handle aspects of the working relationship, how they should prepare for the group work and create the program team, and how they should conduct contact and communication while the group is in progress. The Think First group is an accredited program for medium risk probationers that seek to reduce their risk of attrition. The group comprises 22 sessions with additional pre- and post-group work that focuses on participatory opportunities for members to learn prosocial skills. Evidence suggests that those who complete Think First and other accredited groups decrease their reoffending rate during the 2 years following program completion. The research focused specifically on the nature of the programs, the dynamics of relationship-based interventions, the noncompletion of groups, diversity issues, and case management. Specific research explored which case management practices supported probationers in completing the group work element of their programs. Semistructured interviews were completed with 8 case managers who discussed 21 probationers, 13 of whom had completed the Think First group and 8 who had dropped out prior to completion. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed for emerging themes. References
James McIntosh ; Esther Saville
Challenges Associated with Drug Treatment in Prison
Probation Journal: The Journal of Community and Criminal Justice Volume:53 Issue:3 Dated:September 2006 Pages:230 to 247
This study examined the challenges involved with delivering effective drug treatment in prisons and explored possible solutions. Main findings indicate several aspects of prison life that present challenges to effective drug treatment: (1) the prison culture and regime; (2) the attitudes of staff toward drug abuse and drug abusers; (3) and the relationship between officers and prisoners. Results revealed that the prison environment did not constitute an appropriate therapeutic environment for the delivery of drug treatment programming and that the negative attitudes of staff toward drug abusers and drug abuse treatment exacerbated the problem. The findings suggest that drug treatment strategies containing flexibility and the range of skills necessary to address the complexities of prisoners’ needs are required to deliver effective drug treatment within prison environments. The authors expect that the intensity of the required interventions will require a degree of privatization and they contend that offenders who demonstrate a readiness for drug treatment should be targeted for these interventions. It is also recommended that interventions be implemented that increase prisoners’ motivation to give up drugs and that transform officer’s attitudes toward drug abusers. The research involved semi-structured in-depth interviews with 14 prison staff and 11 prisoners. Interviews with staff focused on their career background and training, their perceptions of the drug culture in prison, their attitudes toward drug use and drug users, their views of the drug treatment available in the prison, and their relationship with prisoners. Interviews with prisoners focused on their drug use and criminal histories, their perceptions and experience of drug treatment in prison, their previous treatment experience, and their general views on treatment services. Researchers also observed all aspects of drug treatment programming. Interviews and observations were examined for emerging themes. Future research should explore the use of motivational interviews to help promote recovery from illegal drug abuse. References