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Implementing the "Integrated Continuum of Care" Model for Severely Addicted Addicts: The Key Maine Experience

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2001
54 pages
This report summarizes findings from a process evaluation of the Key Maine Therapeutic Community Program (TC) operated under the Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) and Office of Substance Abuse (OSA), which enables offenders to gain control over their addiction in the last 18 months of incarceration and make a successful transition back into the community.
The Key Maine TC program is a 10 to 12 month program, after which program graduates enter the Transitional Treatment Program (TTP), which combines work release and drug treatment during the last six months of the inmate’s incarceration. As part of TTP, the inmate initiates the process of contacting community-based treatment programs that can address their treatment needs after release from prison. Inmates work on reentry planning. The U.S. Department of Justice Residential Substance Abuse Treatment funded a process evaluation of the Key Maine TC and TTP. The specific objectives of the evaluation were: (1) to describe the program’s implementation; (2) to profile the drug use, treatment, and background characteristics of the inmates in the Maine correctional facilities who are eligible for the Key Maine TC program; and (3) to examine treatment process among clients who enter the TC program during the fifteen months of treatment. The evaluation was based on: (1) quarterly site visits; (2) a survey of treatment-eligible inmates, and a client assessment collected from treatment records; and (3) a survey of correctional officers was conducted to examine how they view the drug treatment alternatives for offenders and to collect comparative environmental data on non-TC units. The report concludes with five basic recommendations that should be considered. First, the MDOC should consider the use of positive sanctions to improve voluntary admission to treatment rather than mandated treatment admission. Second, there needs to be a flexible set of guidelines that specify how existing MDOC policies are modified regarding the Key Maine TC and TTP clients. Third, an ongoing training program for MDOC and treatment staff about TC methods, drug addiction, and current program related policies is needed for treatment staff and MDOC staff systemwide. Fourth, mechanisms to improve information sharing on the medical and psychological information about clients between Key Maine staff and MDOC medical and psychiatric staff must be implemented. And, lastly, MDOC should institute an interagency monitoring and response system that identifies and resolves implementation issues. References

Date Published: March 1, 2001