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Collaborative Behavioral Management Among Parolees: Drug Use, Crime and Re-arrest in the Step'n Out Randomized Trial

NCJ Number
Addiction Volume: 107 Issue: 6 Dated: June 2012 Pages: 1099-1108
Peter D. Friedmann; Traci C. Green; Faye S. Taxman; Magdalena Harrington; Anne G. Rhodes; Elizabeth Katz; Daniel O'Connell; Steven S Martin; Linda K. Frisman; Mark Litt; William Burdon; Jennifer G. Clarke; Bennett W. Fletcher
Date Published
June 2012
10 pages
The objective of this study was to determine whether collaborative behavioral management (CBM) reduces substance use, crime, and re-arrest among drug-involved parolees.

Step'n Out was a randomized behavioral trial of CBM versus standard parole (SP) during 2004-2008. CBM adapted evidence-based role induction, behavioral contracting, and contingent reinforcement to provide parole officer/treatment counselor dyads with positive tools in addition to sanctions to manage parolees' behavior over 12 weeks. The study was conducted with six parole offices in five U.S. states and involved parolee volunteers with a mandate for addiction treatment and a minimum of 3 months of parole (N=476). Follow-up was 94 percent at 3 months and 86 percent at 9 months. Drug use and crime were determined for a given month from calendar interviews at 3 months and 9 months after parole initiation, and re-arrests were determined from criminal justice administrative data. The CBM group had fewer months in which they used their primary drug (adjusted risk ratio (ARR) 0.20, 95 percent CI: 0.05, 0.78, p = .02) and alcohol (ARR 0.38, 95 percent CI: 0.22, 0.66, p=.006) over follow-up. CBM had its greatest effects among parolees who reported marijuana or another "non-hard" drug as their primary drug; parolees who preferred stimulants or opiates did not benefit. No differences were found in total crime, re-arrests, or parole revocations. The study concluded that collaborative behavioral management may reduce substance use among primary marijuana or other "non-hard" drug-using parolees without increasing revocations. Since most drug-violation arrests in the United States are for marijuana, these findings have important implications for the management of a substantial proportion of the U.S. community correctional population. (publisher abstract modified)