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Treating Substance Abuse Offenders in the Southwestern United States: A Report Evaluating the Long-Term Effectiveness of the Yuma County Adult Drug Court

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 37 Issue: 3/4 Dated: 2003 Pages: 163-177
Sherri McCarthy; Thomas F. Waters
Date Published
15 pages
This study examined the long-term success of a sample of graduates (n=29) who successfully completed the Yuma County Drug Court program (Arizona).
Participants in the study included 19 males and 10 females. Data were also available from counselors and arrest records on seven additional graduates. Each participant completed the Addiction Severity Index and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Client Outcomes for Discretionary Programs Questionnaire. In addition, participants were interviewed about their success in following their relapse prevention plans. Other interview questions pertained to drug-use abstinence, employment, contact with the criminal justice system, steps taken to improve quality of life, the quality of relationships with significant others, and whether relapses have occurred. Of the graduates, four males and two females reported that they had relapsed and were again using illegal substances. Fourteen of the subjects reported moderate alcohol use. Overall, 15 of the 36 subjects for whom data were available relapsed after graduating from drug court. The variables that apparently predicted relapse were family problems, lack of social support, and employment difficulty. The majority of graduates successfully implemented their relapse prevention plans and graduation plans. Criminal involvement after graduation appeared to be significantly less than that of offenders who had not been treated under a drug court model; for those graduates who did recidivate, time to first arrest was apparently longer for graduates than for nongraduates. 2 tables and 19 references


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