Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, November 27, 2007


NCJ 220351
Jonathan E. Messemer
Influence of Christian Programs on the Academic Achievement of Low-Literate Male Inmates
Journal of Correctional Education
Volume:58 Issue:3 Dated:September 2007 Pages:222 to 248

The purpose of this study was to measure whether Christian programs had a positive influence on the academic achievement of low-literate male inmates. The findings from this study were able to demonstrate that the total inmate sample (Christian and non-Christian inmates) participating in the Adult Basic Education (ABE) program at the Mountain View State Prison had statistically significant learning gains in the reading, math, and language skill areas. The study also found that the Christian inmates had statistically significant greater learning gains in the reading and language skill areas than the non-Christian inmates. In addition, Christian inmates had statistically significant lower rates of disciplinary absenteeism in the ABE program than the non-Christian inmates. The rate of disciplinary absenteeism was a statistically significant predictor in determining the amount of learning gains the inmates would make in the reading and language skill areas. The current field of correctional education provides numerous programs for inmates. Nearly all prisons have chaplains from various faiths who offer formal and informal religious programs to the inmates. Adult educators in prison seek to create change by providing knowledge and skill based programs for inmates, whereas prison chaplains seek to create change by changing the heart of the inmates. An extensive review of the literature found only a few studies in correctional education that involved either low-literate learning gains or the influence faith-based programming had upon the lives of inmates. The study sample consisted of 124 male inmates in a closed security prison in the southeastern United States who were participating in an ABE program grouped into 2 categories: (1) 55 Christian inmates and (2) 69 non-Christian inmates. Tables, references

NCJ 220444
JoAnn Y. Sacks; Karen McKendrick; David Kressel
Measuring Offender Progress in Treatment Using the Client Assessment Inventory
Criminal Justice and Behavior
Volume:34 Issue:9 Dated:September 2007 Pages:1131 to 1142

This article expands the field of knowledge on the Client Assessment Inventory (CAI) instrument by exploring data collected for a criminal justice population. The study data supported the use of the CAI as a consistent, reliable, and easily administered instrument for measuring client performance and treatment progress in both therapeutic community (TC) and non-TC correctional treatment settings. The study addressed the use of different subpopulations of offenders such as race, ethnicity, and gender across a variety of correctional treatment settings. The accurate and reliable assessment of client psychological and cognitive change during correctional substance abuse treatment has gained increasing importance during the past decade as criminal justice systems seek to evaluate and understand those treatment elements associated with long term change. The CAI is a self-report survey that measures client performance in treatment across 14 cognitive and behavioral domains or scales. The data gathered on 1,170 offenders were analyzed for reliability and internal consistency of the CAI as adapted for use in criminal justice settings. When administered to multiple programs within an agency or across a system of care, the CAI provides an opportunity for agency-wide or systemic quality assurance approaches focused on program-level strengths and areas for improvement or enhancement. At the client level, the CAI also serves as a clinical intervention tool for increasing client awareness of personal progress designed to increase retention in treatment and improve outcomes. Future research efforts are planned to evaluate the predictive validity of the CAI, and to address the impact of discrete treatment elements on specific offender behaviors during treatment. Tables, references

NCJ 220445
Michele Stanton-Tindall; Bryan R. Garner, Janis T. Morey; Carl Leukefeld; Jennifer Krietemeyer; Christine A. Saum; Carrie B. Oser
Gender Differences in Treatment Engagement Among a Sample of Incarcerated Substance Abusers
Criminal Justice and Behavior
Volume:34 Issue:9 Dated:September 2007 Pages:1143 to 1156

This article examines gender differences in treatment engagement, psychosocial variables, and criminal thinking within prison–based treatment programs. Results indicate that inmates in female treatment programs report more psychosocial dysfunction, less criminal thinking, and higher engagement than in male facilities, and demonstrate more negative relationship between psychosocial variables and treatment engagement compared to males in programs. By assessing factors that might influence treatment engagement, such as psychosocial issues and criminal thinking early in the treatment process, programs might be able to target treatment interventions designed to specifically address these problems in an effort to enhance the retention rates, treatment experience, and treatment outcomes for their clients; clients who do not engage in treatment are less likely to complete treatment and less likely to have positive treatment outcomes. This study focused on gaps in the current research and had three study objectives: to examine differences between male and female programs in treatment engagement, psychosocial functioning, and criminal thinking; to examine program based gender as a moderator of the relationship between treatment engagement and psychosocial functioning; and to examine gender as a moderator of the relationship between treatment engagement and criminal thinking. The sample consisted of 2,774 substance abusers enrolled in 20 prison-based treatments programs in 5 different States. Participants were 56 percent non-White, with a mean age of 34 years and a mean length of treatment of 141 days. The study was limited in several ways: participants were not randomly selected but were part of a targeted drug treatment program eligible for study, data were self-reported, and only two primary factors on treatment engagement were examined. Additional factors such as individual differences and motivation for treatment should be considered for future analyses. Tables, references

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