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Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime

NCJ Number
J A Inciardi; D C McBride
Date Published
70 pages
This report reviews the history, program elements, experiences, and evaluation findings for the Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime Program (TASC).
TASC's aim is to provide a "bridge" between the criminal justice system and the drug treatment community. Under TASC, community-based supervision is made available to drug-involved individuals who would otherwise burden the justice system with persistent drug-associated criminality. TASC identifies, assesses, and refers drug-involved offenders to community treatment services as an alternative or supplement to existing justice system sanctions and procedures. In the more than 100 jurisdictions where TASC currently operates, it serves as a court diversion mechanism or a supplement to probation supervision. After referral to community-based treatment, TASC monitors the client's progress and compliance, including expectations for abstinence, employment, and improved personal and social functioning. It then reports treatment results back to the referring justice system agency. Although there has not been a national evaluation of the entire TASC effort, more than 40 local programs were assessed from 1972 through 1982. In general, the evaluations found that the majority effectively linked criminal justice and treatment systems, identified previously untreated drug-involved offenders, and intervened with clients to reduce drug abuse and criminal activity. The report recommends that TASC be expanded because of the role it can play in reducing the growing rates of violent, drug-related street crime, alleviating court backlogs, and easing crowded prison conditions. Appended supplementary information and data and 95 references