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Evaluation of the "New Choices" Substance Abuse Program in the Harris County Jail Houston, Texas -- PROJECT CARE Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2000
60 pages
This report presents the methodology and findings of a process evaluation of the Harris County Jail (Houston, Tex.) "New Choices" substance abuse program.
The evaluation data show that the New Choices staff have successfully implemented a substance abuse treatment program in the Harris County Central Jail. In its first 18 months of operation, the program has made great strides toward achieving all of its proposed programming goals. As indicated by the evaluation data, New Choices is a developing program that is currently positively affecting the jail inmate substance abuser and has set the stage for increased effectiveness and future success. The program has overcome formidable obstacles in the areas of staffing and recruitment and is now poised to address program limitations. Now fully staffed and with effective recruitment procedures and court participation that yield sufficient long-term clients, the program staff is addressing programmatic issues. These include restricting admission to offenders with a minimum of 6 months in order to achieve a completion rate of no less than 80 percent of enrollment; expanding treatment to include individual counseling at a minimum of one session per month for each client; and expanding treatment to include staff-facilitated small groups on a regular basis. Both the program and the field of substance abuse treatment in jails would benefit substantially from a long-term outcome study. 6 tables, 5 figures, 8 references, and evaluation instruments

Date Published: March 1, 2000