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Use of Prison Confinement for the Treatment of Multiple Drunk Driver Offenders: An Evaluation of the Longwood Treatment Center

NCJ Number
D P LeClair
Date Published
143 pages
A process evaluation of Massachusetts' first minimum security prison (Longwood Treatment Center) designed solely for the education and treatment of multiple drunk driving offenders found that the program was implemented as planned and that adjustments made during implementation produced a smoothly run and professional organization.
The Longwood Treatment Center is also serving the intended target population, consisting of offenders with prior experience both in the courts and in alcohol treatment programs. Preliminary outcome measures also have shown a recidivism rate of 6 percent within a year of release, compared to a statewide rate of 25 percent and a rate of 19 percent for low security institutions similar to the Longwood program. Study data came from direct observation, interviews with staff and clients, and record reviews. The process evaluation began at the same time the program opened in 1985 in Boston. The 125-bed program views alcoholism as a complex illness requiring assessment, education, and treatment. Approximately 500 sentenced drunk driving offenders have completed the program. The program's aftercare component needs strengthening. In addition, the counseling and correction staff should be merged to permit greater emphasis on counseling. Improved recreational facilities and measures to reduce costs are also recommended. Further research should focus on program outcomes. Figure, tables, and 24 references.