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Outcome Evaluation of the Crossroads to Freedom House and Peer I Therapeutic Communities

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2004
53 pages
This final report presents an outcome evaluation of two Colorado therapeutic community (TC) treatment programs for offenders.
Previous research has revealed high levels of substance abuse among criminal offenders. With proper treatment, recidivism and relapse among this population can be reduced. One treatment model that has been widely implemented with offenders is the TC model, an intensive and structured program in which clients engage in a range of activities that include therapy, work, education, and recreation. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of two Colorado TC programs: Crossroads to Freedom House and Peer I Therapeutic Communities. Two methodologies were employed; study 1 involved a large sample analysis of quantitative data allowing for the comparison of the 5 study groups on recidivism factors such as rearrest, return to prison, and length of time until re-offending. Participants were 31 offenders who received both programs, as well as 97 offenders who received only the Peer I program, 162 offenders who completed the Crossroads program, 256 offenders who did not complete the Crossroads program, and 232 offenders who were eligible yet received no programming. The most successful outcomes were observed for the group that participated in both programs. Study 2 employed a case study analysis of 10 participants, 2 from each of the 5 groups, to explore the impact of the programs on the participants’ outcomes, supports, and barriers. Results indicated that transitioning to higher levels of freedom led to high risk periods for offenders and offenders found it difficult to adjust to the confrontational style of the TC program. In general, both studies revealed that intensive, long-term, residential TC programs provided as part of a continuum of care can reduce recidivism risk over a 2-year period. Tables, figures, references, appendixes

Date Published: December 1, 2004