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Arkansas Comprehensive Substance Abuse Treatment Program: Process Evaluation of the Modified Therapeutic Community (Tucker Unit)

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2001
165 pages
This report presents a process evaluation of the modified therapeutic community in the Arkansas Comprehensive Substance Abuse Treatment Program.
A partnership between the Department of Criminal Justice, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and the Arkansas Department of Correction was formed to study the current Modified Therapeutic Community Program. The partnership was designed to facilitate entry into the field, identify and evaluate an appropriate screening instrument, evaluate the operations and perceptions of the program, and report any discontinuities between the idealized and actual program. In addition, the partnership sought to identify those factors which are correlated with successful participants and to present a formative evaluation of the overall program. A single instrument was identified, using the Interactive Group Process, which would help establish factors related to offender selection, program participation, retention in the program, and successful completion of the program. Evaluators made a number of site visits and directly observed daily activities. They also interviewed program providers, supervisors, and managers; participating inmates; former clients; and selected members of the program staff. Evaluators concluded that the therapeutic community is a valid and reliable approach to the treatment of both substance abuse and behavioral problems. Evaluators recommended the following: (1) modify the influence of the Community hierarchy; (2) change the selection process; (3) evaluate work assignments within the program; (4) increase the level of computer technology; (5) increase staffing levels and revise staffing patterns; (6) increase consistency in rules application; (7) change volunteer-mandate ratio for participants; and (8) continue monitoring the overall substance abuse treatment program. Tables, references, appendixes

Date Published: March 1, 2001