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Outcome Evaluation of the South Carolina Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program for State Prisoners

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2002
88 pages
This article presents an evaluation of South Carolina’s Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) for State Prisoners, known as the Correctional Recovery Academy (CRA).
The authors note that the growth in the prison population is due mainly to drug-related crime recidivism and the law enforcement focus on drug activities. As such, it makes sense to offer drug treatment programs within correctional facilities. Indeed, such an approach has several advantages over treatment centers, which are independent of correctional facilities. Residential treatment settings can ensure enrollment and participation and can ensure post-release aftercare as a condition of parole. This evaluation measured the success of South Carolina’s CRA program at reducing recidivism among young male drug offenders with chemical dependency problems. The evaluation involved comparing 303 offenders, 160 of whom were enrolled in the CRA program and 143 of whom were not. Results of statistical analyses, including T-test, chi-square, and logistic regression, revealed that during the 12-month follow-up period, the CRA program did not significantly reduce recidivism rates among the CRA participants. Indeed, the CRA participants were actually re-arrested at a slightly higher rate than the offenders who were not enrolled in the treatment program. The results thus show that the CRA program failed at both reducing recidivism among drug-related offenders and in reducing drug-use relapse during the same period. In conclusion, the authors note that an unexpected conclusion was the failure rate for drug testing covaried with the total number of drug tests given. This finding possibly indicates that if more drug tests are given, the rate of “dirty urine” results would decline. Bibliography, glossary

Date Published: September 1, 2002