Factors Associated with Drug-Related Recidivism Among Paroled Amphetamine-Type Stimulant Users in Japan


Few studies have used longitudinal data to investigate drug-related recidivism among drug users in Asia. This study examined demographic and background characteristics that predicted drug-related recidivism among paroled amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) users in Japan who participated in a mandatory educational program throughout their parole period conducted by professional and volunteer probation officers. Analyzing data released in 2017 by the Ministry of Justice in Japan, we reviewed 10-year recidivism rates of 1807 individuals placed on parole in 2003 (1561 men and 246 women, mean age = 37.5 [SD = 9.8]). We investigated the possible association between the length of parole and drug-related recidivism in Japan based on the continuing care model for individuals with drug addiction, which has not been previously explored. The results showed a 47.5% drug-related recidivism rate for all participants. Younger age, a higher number of previous prison sentences, a longer prison sentence, shorter parole, and a diagnosis of mental disorders were significantly associated with a higher drug-related recidivism rate. The presence of a higher number of previous prison sentences and a longer prison sentence were risk factors for drug-related recidivism, which suggests that incarcerating ATS users is ineffective for reducing drug-related recidivism. These results indicated a possible application of the continuing care model for assisting ATS users in Japan with further research.

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    We assessed the degree of collinearity between variables. Regarding drug-related recidivism, a correlation coefficient over 0.5 was observed only between age and the number of previous prison sentences (r = .56), the variance inflation factors (VIF) ranged from 1.02 to 1.84, showing no evidence of problematic levels of multicollinearity.


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We would like to thank the Director-General of the Rehabilitation Bureau in the Ministry of Justice in Japan for the approval of this study. We also thank Dr. Toshihiko Matsumoto and the anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments.


The views described in this paper are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Ministry of Justice in Japan.


This study was supported by Grants-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, No. 15K04114.

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Correspondence to Kyoko Hazama.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

This study was approved by the institutional review board of the Rehabilitation Bureau in the Ministry of Justice in Japan.

Informed consent

In accordance with the Japanese Act on the Protection of Personal Information Held by Administrative Organization, and the Basic Act on Cybersecurity, the Director-General of the Rehabilitation Bureau in the Ministry of Justice in Japan permitted the authors to use ATS users’ information, which was anonymized and de-identified before analysis. Accordingly, we did not obtain informed consent from the participants.

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Hazama, K., Katsuta, S. Factors Associated with Drug-Related Recidivism Among Paroled Amphetamine-Type Stimulant Users in Japan. Asian J Criminol 15, 109–122 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11417-019-09299-8

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  • Amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS)
  • Continuing care model
  • Drug users
  • Drug-related recidivism
  • Japan
  • Parole