This article presents research on the positive impact of therapeutic community treatment programs on criminal offenders with substance abuse problems.
Drawing on prior research indicating that a continuum of treatment is the most effective type of drug treatment for criminal offenders, the authors for this article studied the positive impact of each of three program components and measured the positive effects of each program component for long term decrease of both recidivism and drug abuse relapse. Data were gathered from participants in Delaware’s CREST program, a work release therapeutic community program for drug-involved offenders. Focusing on the relative impact of the within-prison, transitional, and aftercare treatment components of therapeutic community programs and the impacts of each on recidivism rates and drug use relapse incidence, the study data supported the positive effects of all three program types with the residential transitional programs showing the longest lasting positive impacts. 2 figures, 4 tables, 11 references