Successful Prison-Based Substance Abuse Treatment

Dear readers: The study continues a long line of research stating that substance abuse treatment works to reduce recidivism. Unfortunately, it’s in the same unreadable style the academic community loves to create but it does contain a valuable overview of previous substance abuse literature. The results were modest but effective. 

Crime in America.Net  

The Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) recently completed an outcome evaluation of the effectiveness of chemical dependency (CD) treatment provided within the DOC. The evaluation uses official system data to compare recidivism outcomes between treated and untreated offenders released from prison in 2005.     

Recidivism was defined as rearrests, felony reconvictions, and reincarceration for a new offense within 36 to 48 months of prison discharge.     

Researchers did not have access to post‐prison substance use data. The sample consisted of matched groups of 926 treated offenders and 926 untreated offenders. The results are consistent with previous findings showing that prison‐based CD treatment significantly reduces offender recidivism.     

Those substance abusers who received substance abuse treatment recidivated less often and more slowly than substance abusers who did not receive treatment. Those completing treatment and those in short‐term programs (90 days) and medium‐ term programs (180 days) were least likely to recidivate.     

The report, PrisonBased Chemical Dependency Treatment in Minnesota: an Outcome Evaluation is available at: .    

For additional, successful correctional programs, see






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