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Outcome Evaluation of a Residential Substance Abuse Program: Barnstable House of Corrections

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2002
32 pages
This report presents the methodology and findings of an outcome analysis of the Barnstable House of Corrections' (Massachusetts) Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program, whose objective is to reduce the likelihood of recidivism of inmates.
RSAT treats substance abuse behavior through the development of cognitive, behavioral, social, and vocational skills. The purpose of this evaluation was to assess the efficacy of the program by examining all inmates referred to the Barnstable RSAT program between January 1, 1999, and June 2001 through March 2002, when the final criminal history record check was completed on all referrals. RSAT participants are typically career criminals, with most having committed crimes as an adult for 13 years before entering the program. The outcome design was a redundant one that incorporated a one-group pre-post design of the RSAT program with one that split the sample of RSAT participants into two cohorts. In the one-group pre-post design the model tested whether the likelihood of arrest and conviction after RSAT was significantly less than the baseline likelihood of arrest and conviction in the year previous to incarceration. The evaluation included 188 inmates referred to RSAT. RSAT participants who completed the program had approximately a 32-percent probability of a criminal incident within 1 year of their release; RSAT participants who were released early from the program or were terminated had a recidivism rate that was not different from their pre-incarceration likelihood of arrest and conviction. The recidivism rate of RSAT participants, graduates, and non-graduates, was approximately 40 percent and significantly less than the pre-Barnstable likelihood of arrest and conviction. The evaluation concluded that RSAT can deter chronic criminal offenders from committing additional crimes. 16 tables and 18 notes

Date Published: October 1, 2002