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Maximizing Treatment Effectiveness  

Author:  Gregg  Dockins, B.A., LCDC/CCJP.; Kevin  Knight, Ph.D..

Source: Volume 16, Number 06, March/April 2013 , pp.81-84(4)

Offender Programs Report

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Although the evidence for the effectiveness of treatment programs for drug-dependent offenders continues to mount, a few studies have shown that programs vary considerably in their effectiveness. Why are some treatment programs for offenders effective and others not? This article summarizes four key research-supported principles that should be considered when attempting to maximize treatment effectiveness for criminal-justice-involved, substance-using populations: 1) Treatment intensity (e.g., dose) should be matched to the offender’s level of risk; 2) Treatment must last long enough to produce stable behavioral changes; 3) Continuity of care is essential for drug abusers reentering the community; 4) Diversion is an effective option for many low-level and first-time drug offenders.

Keywords: Treatment Intensity; Length of Treatment; Continuity of Care; Diversion

Affiliations:  1: Gateway Foundation, Inc. ; 2: Texas Christian University’s Institute of Behavioral Research.

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