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Overview and Illustrative Examples of the Research Agenda for the Therapeutic Community Continuum of Treatment for Offenders in Delaware

NCJ Number
Date Published
11 pages
This report presents some illustrative material on plans and preliminary evaluation findings for each of the specific evaluation aims regarding the achievements of Delaware's Therapeutic Community Continuum of residential treatment for drug-abusing prisoners.
Over the past 8 years, Delaware has put into place in-prison therapeutic communities (TCs), a work release TC, and a TC-based aftercare program. The current evaluation effort has focused on the new program expansion of the TC Continuum programs and accessed official correctional and criminal justice records to improve recidivism outcome criteria. It has also made retrospective use of existing client treatment files to augment existing outcome evaluation data. Findings confirm the previous conclusion that "quantity" of treatment, i.e., length of time in treatment, is predictive of better and more enduring treatment outcomes. There is also preliminary support for "quality" of treatment, i.e., appropriate assessment of clients' needs and a treatment focus on proximate outcomes, as significant for treatment success. More reliable outcome criteria and new information about circumstances, motivations, and appropriateness of individual client characteristics for treatment will significantly increase the ability to select clients and predict likelihood of treatment success. 2 tables and 4 figures

Date Published: January 1, 1998