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Effects of Prison Drug Treatment on Inmate Misconduct: A Repeated Measures Analysis

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 34 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2007 Pages: 600-615
Date Published
May 2007
16 pages

This federally supported study examined the hypothesis that participation in prison-based drug treatment lowers inmate misconduct.


The results of the study do not support the hypothesis that participation in intensive treatment alone reduces prison misconduct. Although not specifically designed to lower inmate misconduct, it is suggested that there may be positive byproducts of treatment, especially the treatment community (TC) model which emphasizes individual and communal responsibility, inner change, and adoption of a more prosocial, positive lifestyle. Significantly lower average rates of misconduct were found for the TC group. For inmates who remained in prison for a substantial period of time following treatment, the results suggested a deterioration effect. To reduce prison misconduct, it would appear prudent to continue maximizing valid assessment and classification procedures to facilitate appropriate inmate placement in housing and programming responsive to individual needs and risk levels. The article discussed several limitations and suggestions for future research in this area. Prior studies suggest that participation in prison programs, such as work, education, and treatment may positively affect inmate adjustment to prison, as well as reduce rates of institutional misconduct. In order to test the hypothesis that participation in prison treatment programs reduces inmate misconduct, this study examined pre- and posttreatment misconduct for 1,073 inmates who participated in TC drug treatment or a comparison group at 5 State prisons. References

Date Published: May 1, 2007