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Summary of Key Findings of a Process Evaluation of the Ozark Correctional Center Drug Treatment Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2000
15 pages
A process evaluation of the therapeutic community drug treatment program established for inmates in the Ozark Correctional Center in Missouri focused on changes in the treatment program associated with the enactment of a no-smoking policy for inmates and a change in treatment providers contracted to operate the treatment program.
The program serves offenders from an all male, 650-bed minimum-security prison. The program admitted 1,268 inmates between February 1, 1994 and September 30, 1996; 693 inmates successfully completed the program. Evaluation information came from focus groups with crucial administrative and treatment program staff; a review of program documents; and information on inmate demographics, treatment, legal issues, and follow-up. Results revealed that the no-smoking policy had a substantial detrimental effect on the implementation of the therapeutic community program. The end of the policy on April 1, 1998 produced a substantial improvement in the atmosphere of the prison and the treatment setting. In addition, both staff and program participants indicated that the change in treatment providers had a negative impact on the program. The change affected staffing levels, staff training, and the use of individual treatment of participants. Findings suggested that the implementation of therapeutic communities requires training to enable staff to enact their new roles, that factors beyond the immediate control of the program can affect its quality, that contracting processes should consider the importance of a stable and trained set of employees, and that ongoing administrative support is essential. Tables and 17 references

Date Published: February 1, 2000