A process evaluation of a statewide residential drug treatment program for juvenile offenders in Texas sought to determine the factors associated with successful program progress among 406 youths who entered treatment at 5 sites from January through October 1998 and who were discharged by April 1, 1999.
The study focused on the Texas Youth Commission’s Chemical Dependency Treatment Program. The analysis focused on appropriate program placement and whether and to what extent risk factors, dynamic or criminogenic need, behavioral factors, and treatment amenability factors related to several central measures of program progress as well as to variations among these outcomes across treatment sites. The measures of program progress included completion or expulsion, days to completion or expulsion, and performance. The research also collected information from interviews with Texas Youth Commission administrators. Results revealed that most youths in the program belonged there in the sense of having both a drug problem and being amendable to treatment. However, risk, need, and amenability factors did not consistently or strongly predict program progress, whereas behavior or performance and site placement did predict program progress. Findings suggested that the treatment population was relatively homogeneous with respect to risk, need, and amenability factors and indicated that program behavior and performance and site placement were crucial factors associated with treatment progress. Findings also suggested that organizational factors at the treatment site and not individual factors may be the most important determinants of successful program progress. Tables, notes, appended assessment form, and 44 references (Author abstract modified)
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