Treatment Matching for Substance-Abusing Offenders

Treatment Matching for Substance-Abusing Offenders

Treatment Matching for Substance-Abusing Offenders

Treatment Matching for Substance-Abusing Offenders

Synopsis

Hamilton focuses on a population of offenders released from prison to halfway houses. Based on assessments administered prior to admission, intervention groups were established using Latent Class Analysis, which identified several classes or “types” of substance abusing offenders. The resulting classification was utilized to assess responsivity among four program orientations: 12-Step, Cognitive-Behavioral, Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Communities. A matching strategy was then created from class-program interactions. This study is first to examine typology construction as a method for improving treatment effectiveness. Policy implications describe extensions of the study methodology - refining target populations and improving resource allocations for reentry.

Excerpt

In spite of widespread evidence identifying the effectiveness of substance abuse interventions (Prendergast et al., 2002; Taxman, 2000), evaluation research makes continual attempts to detect what style/modality of intervention is most effective. Several studies have attempted to identify the most effective intervention by comparing outcomes of several styles/modalities of treatment (Holloway, 2006; Mitchell, et al. 2006; Holloway, 2006; Pearson and Lipton, 1999, Prendergast et al., 2002). Within many empirical examinations of differing treatment interventions it is a common finding that both experimental and control interventions decrease substance abuse symptoms, however a lack of significant differences between treatment types fail to detect positive effects of any one intervention. One possible reason given for this detection difficulty is the inefficient matching of intervention participants. Many treatments may be effective to some degree; however, certain interventions may be more effective for particular participants with a specific set of characteristics.

Despite their widespread use, evaluations of halfway house programs have been relatively rare in the past two decades (Seiter and Kadela, 2003). Each year in New Jersey thousands are released from prisons and placed in halfway house facilities. Once released, offenders may be placed in any one of 16 different halfway houses currently operating within New Jersey. Halfway houses in New Jersey are not required to operate under a single treatment philosophy, and thus provide differentiated intensities and types of service. Substanceabusing offenders assigned to halfway houses vary greatly with regard to services needs, such as: treatment type, educational/vocational . . .

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