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Assessing Offender Needs and Performance for Planning and Monitoring Criminal Justice Drug Treatment

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 34 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2007 Pages: 1179-1187
Edward A. Roberts; Michael W. Contois; James C. Willis Sr.; Mary Rose Worthington; Kevin Knight
Date Published
September 2007
9 pages
This article provides an overview of how selected scales from the Texas Christian University Criminal Justice Client Evaluation of Self and Treatment (CJ CEST) and Criminal Thinking Scales (CTS) instruments are being used to inform treatment planning and service delivery in a large, intensive therapeutic community program for substance-abusing offenders in Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Corrections (VA DOC) and the private treatment provider Civigenics, Inc. were found to be making positive strides toward establishing the Indian Creek Correctional Center (ICCC) program as an efficient and effective model of therapeutic community (TC) treatment services for drug-involved offenders. The ICCC was opened in 1995 as one of the largest prison-based substance abuse TC programs in the United States. The Chesapeake area program facility has served more than 7,000 inmates since it opened its doors and currently provides comprehensive drug treatment to approximately 800 male inmates daily. The five-phase ICCC program begins by providing an orientation to inmates initiated and inducted into the TC culture, philosophy, and rules of the community. Next, the resocialization phase uses curriculum-based classes and role-plays to develop new life skills for the inmates. The third phase, maturation, focuses on a higher level of expectation and accountability, with the goal that participants will align with the TC community’s philosophy, values, and standards. Fourth is the reentry phase that takes place within 90 days of release and requires continuation of the principles of “right living,” while beginning to plan for life on the outside. The four core phases are designed to provide a smooth transition into the final, post-release phase, which consists of transferring into a transitional TC program or halfway-house setting. The emphasis in the last step is on continuing to develop needed skills while maintaining attitudinal and behavioral changes resulting from the previous in-prison phase. The study suggested a potential step for the ICCC program to use the CJ CEST and CTS instruments as a part of a broader process of monitoring inmate progress and determining whether specific goals are being achieved in a measurable fashion. Other improvement suggestions are also discussed. Case example, note, references