A Case Study in Gaps in Services for Drug-Involved Offenders

Chapter

Abstract

Increasingly, attention is given to the need to place offenders into appropriate programs in an effort to improve outcomes. Andrews and Bonta (1996) refer to this as responsivity; however, in the clinical science literature, this concept is termed treatment matching. “Matching” offenders to appropriate programs and services ultimately calls attention client-level factors that can be used to identify the appropriate type and level of care. We use data from a nationally representative sample of correctional agencies (collected as a part of the National Criminal Justice Treatment Practices (NCJTP) survey) to estimate the participation rate of offenders in the right mix of substance abuse treatment services. The study found that the majority of available services are suited for people with threshold-level substance use disorders, even though a third of the offenders are reported to have a severe dependency disorder requiring a higher level of care. Regardless of the correctional setting, only a small portion of the offender population receives the appropriate level of treatment. The current delivery system appears to be inadequate to reduce the risk of recidivism given that offender needs are largely unmet. Under the risk, need, and responsivity framework, we would not expect better outcomes unless the matching process is better aligned. We use this case study to illustrate the conceptual model involved in the simulations that we will present in this book in terms of trying to expand treatment capacities with an emphasis on providing services that are appropriate for the severity of the disorders. The composition of the current system demands attention to providing more intensive services to effectively use resources and to focus on risk reduction strategies.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminology, Law and SocietyGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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