Saturday, December 01, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, December 1, 2007


NCJ 220447
Christine A. Saum; Daniel J. O'Connell; Steven S. Martin; Matthew L. Hiller; Grant A. Bacon; D. Dwayne Simpson
Tempest in a TC: Changing Treatment Providers for In-Prison Therapeutic Communities
Criminal Justice and Behavior
Volume:34 Issue:9 Dated:September 2007 Pages:1168 to 1178

This study examined whether the competitive bidding process inherent in State agencies contracting for services that sometimes results in treatment-provider change leads to better or worse treatment motivation and engagement for clients, and how that information might be evaluated. The results indicated that changing to new treatment providers in three in-prison therapeutic community (TC) treatment facilities caused significant disruptions, leading to decreased client-counselor rapport and peer support as well as lower levels of treatment readiness, participation, and satisfaction of clients. Corrections officials use private contractors to operate in-prison TC treatment programs. The competitive bidding process for services sometimes results in a treatment-provider change. Three in-prison TC programs from a larger sample of 26 programs participating in the study later became subject to treatment and staff operational changes when a new treatment-provider organization assumed management of their operations. In each case, the new provider displaced the existing provider that had been delivering TC treatment in these programs for more than a decade. In an effort to evaluate the impact of this transition on clients over time, a second cross-sectional of the Criminal Justice Client Evaluation of Self and Treatment (CJ CEST) was administered. Using the data collected, quantitative assessments of client functioning were made at two points in time. Findings suggest that careful planning is needed to cultivate or maintain therapeutic integrity of TC programs during transition periods especially to limit the negative impact that these changes can have on the client and staff of well functioning programs. This study emphasized the need for intentional planning and monitoring program functioning both at the client and program levels during critical periods of provider transitions; however, there is also value in making performance monitoring a permanent feature of all treatment programs. Table, references

NCJ 220449
David Farabee; Kevin Knight; Bryan R. Garner; Stacy Calhoun
Inmate Prerelease Assessment for Reentry Planning
Criminal Justice and Behavior
Volume:34 Issue:9 Dated:September 2007 Pages:1188 to 1197

This study provided a preliminary evaluation of the construct validity and internal consistency of scales being used to develop the Inmate Prerelease Assessment (IPASS). Results indicated that the Inmate Prerelease Assessment (IPASS) construct validity and psychometric properties ranged from good to excellent and showed strong internal consistency with Texas Christian University Drug Screen, Client Evaluation of Treatment, and Counselor Evaluation of Client scales. IPASS was developed specifically as a measure of post release risk for prison based treatment graduates. By taking into account historical drug use and criminal activity of inmates as well as their performances during prison based treatment, the IPASS provides a priority score indicating the relative need for more or less intensive treatment services on release. In spite of the evidence showing that actuarial approaches perform as well as or better than the subjective approaches in making clinical judgments, many State correctional systems continue to make treatment decisions, whether from prison or aftercare phase using information about criminal histories, prior drug use, and inmate willingness to attend a particular type of program. Referrals that do not rely on more systematic clinical or actuarial information can dilute the treatment milieu and displace substance abusers who might have derived benefit from treatment had they been correctly identified and referred. Providing an intensive level of treatment to offenders with low levels of substance use and less severe criminal backgrounds is an ineffective use of resources. The IPASS is expected to enhance this referral process, and the psychometric data presented here should help encourage and support such efforts to improve the quality of informational components being used. The study used data from offenders paroling from prisons in two States to examine the psychometric properties of the IPASS subscales. Tables, notes, references

NCJ 220451
Faye S. Taxman; Karen L. Cropsey; Douglas W. Young; Harry Wexler
Screening, Assessment, and Referral Practices in Adult Correctional Settings: A National Perspective
Criminal Justice and Behavior
Volume:34 Issue:9 Dated:September 2007 Pages:1216 to 1234

This article presents results of the first National Criminal Justice Treatment Practices Survey (NCJTP), which solicited information on substance abuse treatment and other correctional program practices from agencies throughout the adult justice systems. As the first national survey, the study provides a uniquely detailed understanding of the prevalence of screening tools, assessment practices, and other treatment services for offenders in diverse correctional settings, and discusses implications of the survey findings for improving placements of participants in appropriate substance abuse treatment programs. Study findings indicated that 58.2 percent of the surveyed respondents reported the use of a standardized substance abuse screening tool, and 34.2 percent used an actuarial risk tool. Although the use of standardized risk tools, substance abuse screening tools, and assessment practices has been widely advocated in both criminal justice and treatment literature for the past several decades, there remains substantial knowledge gaps about the use of valid, extant screening tools in correctional settings. The survey results present information regarding the patterns of use of standardized screening tools in the correctional system, the degree to which the use related to the availability of treatment programs offered in correctional settings, and the factors associated with the use of screening and assessment practices in the correctional settings. The survey also examined a number of organizational factors such as climate, culture, intra-agency communication, and working relationships between respondent agencies and other stakeholders. A total of 289 adult facility administrators completed the survey. All respondents were responsible for managing the prison, jail, probation, or parole facility or other criminal justice office or local agency referred to as a facility in this article. Tables, references

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