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Impact of the Opportunity to Succeed Program on Employment Success

NCJ Number
National Institute of Justice Journal Issue: 236 Dated: July 1998 Pages: 14-20
Date Published
July 1998
7 pages
Publication Series
The Opportunity to Succeed (OPTS) program is designed to reduce substance abuse relapse and criminal recidivism by comprehensive aftercare services to felony offenders with histories of alcohol and drug offenses.
A key premise of the OPTS program is that alcohol and drug abuse, along with personal histories of crime, economic and family instability, social disorganization, and compromised health or mental health, are disorganizing factors in the lives of offenders that increase the likelihood of continued criminal activity. The rationale of the OPTS program is that individuals will be less likely to relapse and engage in future crimes if they are exposed to a comprehensive suite of aftercare services, including substance abuse treatment, counseling, and skills building activities; frequent supervision contacts and drug use monitoring through urinalysis; and graduated sanctions that include incentives for positive behavior and penalties for failure to comply with program requirements. The skills building component of the OPTS program includes employability training and services to help clients find and maintain legitimate employment. The OPTS program also includes housing, family intervention, parenting skills, and medical and mental health services. Challenges in serving OPTS clients are briefly described that concern service capacity and scope, organizational barriers, client placement, and job retention. Lessons learned from the implementation of OPTS programs are reviewed. 3 notes and 1 figure

Date Published: July 1, 1998