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A Rasch Model Analysis of Evidence-Based Treatment Practices Used in the Criminal Justice System
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 93: 163-175

Link to Publication

Researcher(s): (Douglas Young) (Craig E Henderson) (Faye S Taxman)


This study used item response theory (IRT) to examine the extent to which criminal justice facilities and community-based agencies are using evidence-based substance abuse treatment practices (EBPs) and which EBPs are most commonly used. The study used data collected from wardens, justice administrators, and treatment directors as part of the National Criminal Justice Treatment Practices survey (NCJTP; Taxman et al., in press a) and covered both adult criminal and juvenile justice samples. Results of the Rasch modeling demonstrated that a reliable measure can be formed indicating the extent to which juvenile and adult correctional facilities, and community treatment agencies serving offenders, have adopted various research-supported treatment practices suggested by the literature. We also demonstrated the concurrent validity of the measure by showing that features of the facilities' organizational contexts were associated with the extent to which facilities were using EBPs, and which EBPs they were using. Researchers, clinicians, and program administrators may find these results of interest not only because they show the program factors most strongly related to EBP use, but also suggest that certain treatment practices are generally found together, which may assist stakeholders in planning for and prioritizing the implementation of new EBPs in their facilities.

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