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Criminal Recidivism in Three Models of Mandatory Drug Treatment
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 27: 313-323

Link to Publication

Researcher(s): (Douglas Young) (Reginald Fluellen) (Steven Belenko)


Although research has generally been supportive of compulsory treatment programs for drug abusers, findings remain mixed, and few studies have assessed the impacts of different coercive program elements. This study compared criminal recidivism outcomes of 350 clients mandated to the same long-term residential treatment facilities from three different legal sources. On several measures of recidivism, including long-term rearrest rates that controlled for time at risk, clients mandated from two highly structured programs were found to recidivate at less than half the rate of comparison group clients. This group effect was upheld in multivariate models that controlled for pre-treatment differences and other factors related to recidivism. Combined with results of a previous retention study involving these clients, the findings provide support for the use of structured protocols for informing clients in mandatory programs about legal contingencies of participation and enforcing contingencies through frequent contact between legal agents and treatment staff.

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