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Evaluation of Drug Treatment in Local Corrections

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1997
180 pages
Publication Series
This report provides detailed and systematic descriptions of participants and program components for five drug treatment programs under the jurisdiction of local corrections departments; evaluation information addresses program completion rates and 12- month postrelease outcome (recidivism) for program participants compared to matched controls.
The study was conducted in 1991 and included the Jail Education and Treatment program in Santa Clara County, Calif; Deciding, Educating, Understanding, Counseling, and Evaluation program in Contra Costa County, Calif.; Rebuilding, Educating, Awareness, Counseling, and Hope program, Los Angeles County, Calif.; Substance Abuse Intervention Division, New York City Department of Correction; and New Beginnings, Westchester County, N.Y. The report begins with a literature review of drug treatment in corrections, including the limited number of studies specific to treatment in jails. The report then provides detailed process or program data for the five sites. Narrative descriptions of the programs include overviews of the program and information on program setting, content, goals, history, staffing, and recruitment/selection of participants. Descriptions were updated to reflect changes in both programs and systems during the course of the evaluation. Process and content data were developed through interviews with program, administrative, and custody personnel. The tables of information constitute the bulk of the process evaluation effort and include extensive data, such as program setting, eligibility and screening criteria, program elements, organization and funding, staffing, and aftercare links. Data were also collected on the relative infraction rates and relative costs for the five programs. Information on participating offenders was obtained by sampling offenders who entered and exited the programs during the evaluation period. To develop comparison groups, strategies tailored to each site were developed. For most sites, a sample of offenders serving time in the same facility but not participating in drug treatment was obtained by matching race, age, primary offense, and sentence length. Outcome was defined as the probability of being rearrested and convicted within 12 months after release, controlling for time at risk in the community. Information on each arrest/disposition was obtained through State criminal information systems. The California sites showed the lowest probability of recidivism for treatment cases, and the two New York sites showed no differences between treatment and control groups. Effects of treatment were strongest for those with at least two prior convictions, for "older" offenders, and for whites and Hispanics. The study identifies major factors that apparently limit the potential impact of the programs. 43 tables, 5 figures, 45 references, and appended admission and exit forms

Date Published: June 1, 1997