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Beth M. Huebner; Jennifer Cobbina
Effect of Drug Use, Drug Treatment Participation, and Treatment Completion on Probationer Recidivism
Journal of Drug Issues Volume:37 Issue:3 Dated:Summer 2007 Pages:619 to 642
Using data from the 2000 Illinois Probation Outcome Study, this study considered the interaction of drug use, drug treatment provision, and treatment completion on reoffending among 3,017 probationers. Sixty-four percent of the sample had a drug-use history, and this group was more likely to be rearrested and to fail more quickly while on probation compared with probationers without a drug-use history. Seventy-one percent of the probationers with a drug-use history received treatment, and most completed treatment. As hypothesized, probationers who completed the full course of drug treatment were the least likely to reoffend among those with a drug-use history; however, the reoffending rate of drug-treatment completers was similar to that of probationers who had no drug-use history. Probationers who entered but did not complete drug treatment were more likely to reoffend than drug users who needed treatment but did not receive it. The results suggest that drug treatment can reduce reoffending only if participants complete the full course of treatment. Treatment programs that include an employment component or facilitate gainful employment may increase the chances of treatment completion and reduce opportunities for reoffending. Further, the value of keeping a probationer in treatment may outweigh the value of terminating program participation due to technical probation violations. The study sample included all probationers discharged from supervision in Illinois from October 30 through November 30, 2000. Data were collected through a questionnaire administered by probation officers in each county. It obtained information on probationer demographic characteristics, offender behavior while on probation, sentencing and case outcomes, and reoffending. Information on drug use and treatment, criminal histories, and probation outcomes was obtained from official court and probation records. Arrest data were obtained from State criminal justice records in order to determine reoffending in the 4 years following probation discharge. 4 tables, 2 figures, 43 references, and appended description of variables
What Works in Substance Misuse Treatment for Offenders?
Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health Volume:17 Issue:4 Dated:2007 Pages:225 to 233
This study examined what is most effective in treating offenders for substance abuse in England and Wales, based on Pearson and Lipton's (1999) meta-analysis of substance-use treatment evaluations in correctional settings. Interventions identified as ineffective were boot camps and group counseling. Evidence was strongest for the effectiveness of therapeutic communities and cognitive-behavioral therapies. Maintenance prescriptions for heroin-addicted offenders, especially when combined with psychological treatment, have shown promise. Arrest-referral schemes, court-mandated drug rehabilitation, and drug courts can be effective, but improvements in interagency cooperation are required. There is evidence that treatment for substance abuse in correctional settings can reduce reoffending, so resources should be committed to improving interventions based on empirical evaluations. This should result in improving treatment completion rates; the development of programs that serve offenders involved in specific drug-related and alcohol-related offenses; and the use of programs that match the needs of specific offender groups. Pearson and Lipton's project--entitled, Correctional Drug Abuse Treatment Effectiveness project--examined drug treatment evaluations published between 1968 and 1996. 37 references