Historical Overview of Prison-Based Treatment Evaluations

  • Findings summarized by Lipton (1996) indicate the overall effectiveness of several major prison-based treatment programs that compared low and high treatment groups on a variety of recidivism criteria (with "high" treatment groups generally representing a modified therapeutic community)
  • Randomized studies are seldom feasible or allowed by correctional authorities or systems, so evaluations usually address "selection biases" by identifying no-treatment comparison samples, making statistical adjustments across outcome groups, and monitoring the stages of treatment participation
  • More recent evaluations emphasize the importance of having "aftercare" phases of treatment that follow the correctional-based residential primary care
  • Source: Lipton, D.S. (February, 1996), "Prison-Based Therapeutic Communities: Their Success With Drug-Abusing Offenders," National Institute of Justice Journal (Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice), pp. 12-20