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Twelve Steps to Improved Offender Outcomes: Developing Responsive Systems of Care for Substance-Abusing Offenders

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1998
5 pages
Twelve steps are outlined that effectively use scarce treatment and criminal justice resources to improve outcomes for drug-abusing offenders.
The first six steps include making recidivism reduction the goal of treatment services, ensuring treatment and criminal justice system features are policy-driven, ensuring treatment and criminal justice systems function as a team, using drug testing to manage offenders, targeting offenders for treatment where treatment can work, and using treatment-matching practices. The other six steps involve obtaining results by extending the length of time in treatment; allowing behavioral contracts to bind the offender, the treatment system, and the criminal justice system; designating special agents for supervising offenders in treatment programs; sanctioning noncompliant behavior; rewarding positive behavior; and focusing on quality rather than quantity. The author notes that research continues to affirm the importance of length of time in treatment for drug addicts and that sanctions provide the tools to hold offenders accountable, to reduce revocation, and to control criminal behavior. 6 references, 1 footnote, and 1 figure

Date Published: January 1, 1998