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Assessing Therapeutic Integrity in Modified-Therapeutic Communities for Drug-Involved Offenders

NCJ Number
Date Published
35 pages
Publication Series
This study assessed therapeutic integrity in modified-therapeutic communities for drug-involved offenders.
Many recent evaluations had suggested that Therapeutic Community (TC) programs, particularly those followed by aftercare treatment, could be effective in reducing drug use and recidivism. Despite the successes of the well-established programs, there was a need to examine the implementation (therapeutic integrity) of many newer programs labeled therapeutic communities. This paper describes a combined evaluation methodology (observations, interviews, and official data collection) developed to assess implementation of specific services offered during the residential component of six recently opened TC programs housed in short-term jail settings. The paper presents pilot data gathered with the combination of techniques, in order to outline areas for future research related to in-prison treatment services. The paper also discussed the benefits of using a systematic social observation technique in evaluating offender treatment programs. The paper observes that more attention must be paid to the match between the approaches to residential and aftercare services. The lack of coordination between residential and aftercare service providers contributes to the difficulty in offering a seamless program of care for prison-based drug treatment clients released to the community. Notes, tables, references

Date Published: January 1, 2001