Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $300,000)
Alcohol abuse and drunk driving present specific challenges for the criminal justice system in terms of maintaining public safety, delivering rehabilitative services, and managing the size of offender populations. While treatment for illicit drug abuse in correctional settings has substantially increased throughout the United States, alcohol-specific recovery programs are far less common. In-prison alcohol treatment for felony DWI offenders has been identified as a promising opportunity to rehabilitate serial inebriates through cognitive restructuring oriented toward behavioral change. The successful treatment of repeat alcohol offenders enhances public safety through reducing the degree of drunk driving in society and, in turn, the number of arrests and incarcerations attributable to DWI convictions.
This proposal describes a plan to conduct a multi-site process and outcome evaluation of alcohol treatment programs for felony serial inebriates delivered in correctional settings. Project goals are: 1) assessment of the degree to which the treatment programs are research-based and best practices compliant; 2) determination of the degree of program fidelity and operational intensity, and; 3) execution of an outcome evaluation (quasi-experimental design) enabling specification of program impact and effectiveness, as indicated by recidivism reduction.
This two year project aims to assess the quality of treatment delivery and program effectiveness among a sample of program participants comprised of male state prisoners in separate regions of the country (Montana, Ohio, and Texas) serving demographically distinct offender populations. These programs all deliver cognitive change modalities through modified therapeutic communities, reflective of the primary recovery strategies delivered in correctional contexts across the nation. A mixed-methods (qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis) research design will specifically address the focal concerns of program fidelity and recidivism reduction toward the goal of developing evidenced-based knowledge on in-prison alcohol recovery.