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Client Gender and the Implementation of Jail-Based Therapeutic Community Programs

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Volume: 30 Issue: 4 Dated: Fall 2000 Pages: 881-900
Date Published
20 pages

This study examined the extent to which the content of four therapeutic community programs for jail detainees varied based on the gender of the participants.


Using a structured observation methodology, the study examined the theoretical orientation of the programs, the therapeutic tools used in the programs, and the content of individual sessions. The four programs had mixed success in providing gender-specific services as suggested by previous research on the treatment needs of women. While the implementation of the four programs did vary according to client gender, the variations did not always represent delivery of appropriate gender-specific treatment. Overall, men's treatment sessions focused on motivation building and relapse prevention, and women's meetings focused on aftercare planning and spirituality. Furthermore, sessions for males used more structured therapeutic techniques, while females' meetings were less structured. The study suggests that a more comprehensive therapeutic approach, combining pro-social value reinforcement and specific skill development, might be more successful in addressing the multiple and complex needs of women in residential substance abuse treatment. Tables, notes, references

Date Published: January 1, 2000