This article reports the findings and methodology of an evaluation of Forever Free, an in-prison, residential, substance abuse treatment program that uses a cognitive-behavioral curriculum designed for women.
A total of 215 study volunteers in prison were recruited (119 treatment, 96 comparison) for the evaluation. A 1-year follow-up was completed with 180 women (101 treatment, 79 comparison). Recidivism, drug use, and employment were examined. Bivariate analyses showed that treated women had significantly fewer arrests, less drug use, and more employment. Cox regression analysis of time to reincarceration indicated that those with more lifetime arrests had a significantly increased risk of reincarceration. Treatment group members and older subjects showed a trend toward decreased risk. Logistic regression analysis showed that treatment group membership and greater age predicted a lowered likelihood of drug use; heroin as the primary drug predicted a greater likelihood of drug use; and increased days in post-release treatment and higher levels of education predicted employment. (publisher abstract modified)