Journal of Experimental Criminology

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 53–77 | Cite as

The effects of specialized probation and recovery management checkups (RMCs) on treatment participation, substance use, HIV risk behaviors, and recidivism among female offenders: main findings of a 3-year experiment using subject by intervention interaction analysis

  • Christy K. Scott
  • Michael L. Dennis
  • Arthur J. Lurigio



To examine the effects of specialized probation and recovery management checkups (RMCs) on participation in substance use treatment, substance use, HIV risk behaviors, and recidivism.


Women (n = 480) released from the Cook County Jail’s Department of Women’s Justice Services were randomly assigned to either an RMC or control condition and interviewed quarterly for 3 years (greater than 90% completion per wave). At the beginning of each quarter, women were classified as currently on probation (n = 1984) or not (n = 2516). Current probation (subject) and experimental condition (intervention nested within probation status) at the beginning of the quarter were used to predict outcomes in the next quarter. Data included self-reports, urinalysis findings, and county and state arrest records.


In the quarter after being on probation (or not), women offenders reported higher rates of participation in substance use treatment and recovery support services, as well as lower rates of substance use and HIV risk behaviors. Nevertheless, they were more likely to commit crimes and be rearrested or reincarcerated. During quarters when the women were not on probation, RMCs were associated with significant increases in participation in substance use treatment and significant reductions in substance use and HIV risk behaviors. However, RMCs had no additional quarterly benefits when women were on probation. Higher levels of substance use treatment, self-help engagement, and reduced substance use predicted reduced recidivism.


This study demonstrates the effects of specialized probation and RMCs (when not on probation) on favorable outcomes for criminally involved women with substance use disorders.


Probation Community supervision Substance use disorder Recovery management checkups (RMC) Female offenders Woman offenders Reentry Alcohol and other drug use HIV risk behavior Recidivism 



This article was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grant DA021174. The authors thank Rod Funk for assistance in preparing the manuscript; the women who participated in the interviews; and the Cook County Jail’s Division 17 staff and administration. The opinions are those of the authors and do not reflect official positions of the government.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christy K. Scott
    • 1
  • Michael L. Dennis
    • 1
  • Arthur J. Lurigio
    • 2
  1. 1.Lighthouse InstituteChestnut Health Systems, Chicago & NormalChicagoUSA
  2. 2.College of Arts and SciencesLoyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA

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