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Relative Effects of Three Approaches to the Parole Supervision of Narcotic Addicts and Cocaine Abusers

NCJ Number
Prison Journal Volume: 79 Issue: 2 Dated: June 1999 Pages: 163-181
Date Published
19 pages

This study examined the 1-year parole outcomes of 504 newly released parolees with a history of heroin and/or cocaine abuse who were randomly assigned -- within gender, race, and primary drug of choice -- to one of three interventions.


The interventions were a program of "social support" that combined weekly urine monitoring with counseling, case management, and case advocacy; weekly urine monitoring alone; and routine parole. Study participants were Baltimore City ex- offenders with a history of narcotic addiction and/or heavy cocaine use who were paroled from the Maryland State Correctional System. African-American and white male and female persons who were placed on at least 1 year of parole supervision were selected for study. Of the total number of participants selected for the study, approximately one-half were assigned to social support plus urine monitoring (the experimental condition), one- quarter to urine monitoring plus routine parole, and one-quarter to routine parole. During the year, noncompliance and/or a relapse to drug use by participants in the two treatment conditions resulted in their being placed on routine parole. Assessment instruments were administered at the beginning and end of the first year of parole. The principal assessment instrument used in determining treatment outcome was a questionnaire that covered the 1-year parole period; it was completed by research personnel on the basis of information obtained from parole agents and urinalysis records. Results show the superiority of social support treatment over the other two comparison conditions, particularly urine monitoring alone. Supplemental analyses show a general superiority of substance abuse treatment over no treatment, whether or not treatment was delivered within the social support framework. 3 tables, 7 notes, and 23 references

Date Published: January 1, 1999