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Considering the Effectiveness of Drug Treatment Behind Bars: Findings From the South Carolina RSAT Evaluation

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2011
17 pages
This study examined the effectiveness of offender drug treatment programs.
Through funding from the national Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program, the South Carolina Department of Corrections implemented the Correctional Recovery Academy in the Turbeville Medium Security Institution to treat drug-dependent offenders. The program features a cognitive-behavioral change modality delivered in a modified therapeutic community to first time, non-violent, drug-dependent, youthful male offenders. A quasi-experimental design was employed to specify impact as indicated by recidivism, relapse, and parole revocation. While analyses revealed no statistically significant difference between treatment and control group participants on these outcome measures, implications regarding the efficacy of the treatment modality are ambiguous as implementation failure masked determination of program effects. Drug testing frequency after release, however, was found to be a significant factor precluding failure, contrary to the conventional view that increased testing identifies greater use. Tables and references (Published Abstract)

Date Published: February 1, 2011