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Effectiveness of Treatment for Drug Abusers Under Criminal Justice Supervision

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 1995
64 pages
Publication Series
This paper argues that the time in which drug-using offenders are in custody presents a unique opportunity to provide them treatment, and it describes several such programs operating throughout the country.
The proportion of offenders in the criminal justice system who are substance abusers is high and has increased in recent years. Drug treatment for prison inmates, however, has had a checkered history in the United States. This paper interweaves a number of themes related to these facts: the relationship of drugs to crime, the current overcrowded situation in correctional facilities, and state-of-the-art treatment approaches used with substance-abusing offenders who are in custody. The author presents the findings of studies that have shown in-custody treatment, particularly the therapeutic community (TC) model, to be effective in preventing rearrest and in achieving other positive outcomes. Moreover, with this approach, successful outcomes are positively related to the amount of time spent in treatment. This paper highlights several successful drug- treatment projects, notably Stay'n Out, Cornerstone, Amity Prison TC, Key-Crest, KEEP, and TASC. The CDATE project, a 25-year update of the author's study of the effectiveness of correctional treatment, is also described. 6 tables, 10 notes, and 80 references

Date Published: November 1, 1995