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Three-Year Outcomes of Therapeutic Community Treatment for Drug-Involved Offenders in Delaware: From Prison to Work Release to Aftercare

NCJ Number
Prison Journal Volume: 79 Issue: 3 Dated: September 1999 Pages: 294-320
Date Published
27 pages

Delaware researchers have argued for a continuum of primary (in prison), secondary (work release), and tertiary (aftercare) therapeutic community (TC) treatment for drug-involved offenders.


Previous work demonstrated significant reductions in relapse and recidivism for offenders who received primary and secondary TC treatment 1 year after leaving work release. However, much of this effect declined significantly when the time at risk moved to 3 years after release. Program effects remained significant when the TC model took into account not simply exposure to the TC program but also program participation, program completion, and aftercare. Clients who completed secondary treatment did better than those with no treatment and those who dropped out of the program. Clients who received aftercare did even better in remaining both drug-free and arrest-free. The authors conclude that the TC continuum has value in work release and parole settings and that retention in treatment is important in predicting long-term success and reducing the likelihood of recidivism. Research limitations that need to be addressed in further studies are noted. 57 references, 7 tables, and 3 figures

Date Published: January 1, 1999