This study examined whether prerelease drug treatment recommendations for rural inmates after their release - based on the results of the Inmate Prerelease Assessment (IPASS), which recommends either intensive or nonintensive treatment postrelease - predicted the likelihood that rural offenders would enter a 12-step attendance and treatment program within 6 months after their release from prison.
The study found that although the level of drug treatment recommended by the IPASS was the primary variable of interest, it was not a significant predictor of either self-help (12-step) attendance or treatment entry for rural inmates within 6 months postrelease. Two explanations are offered for this finding. First, it is widely known that 12-step programming and substance abuse treatment services are limited in rural settings. Therefore, the identified need and services recommended by the IPASS may be irrelevant when offenders are released to areas were recommended services do not exist. Second, this study had a small sample size of rural offenders, which could limit the statistical power needed to detect significant differences. Future studies with larger sample sizes are needed in order to examine the predictive value of IPASS on substance-abuse service use among rural offenders. According to the IPASS, a little over half of the inmates (53 percent) paroled or released to rural counties should receive an intensive aftercare placement in their communities. Although most rural offenders (80 percent) attended 12-step meetings, only 29 percent entered a structured substance abuse treatment program. Of the rural offenders who received an intensive aftercare placement recommendation from IPASS, only 38 percent received formal substance abuse treatment services. Between 2005 and 2006, 106 inmates were recruited from 3 prison-based substance abuse treatment programs in Kentucky. One of the criteria for being included in the study was to be within 90 days of release to a rural county. 3 tables and 44 references