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Experimental Evaluation of Drug Testing and Treatment Interventions for Probationers in Maricopa County, Arizona, 1992-1994 (ICPSR 2025)

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This data collection represents a combined experimental evaluation of a drug court program, implemented in 1992 in cooperation with the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department, in comparison to standard probation with different levels of drug testing. The experiment's objective was to compare the drug use and criminal behavior of probationers assigned to four alternative regimes or tracks: (1) standard probation, but no drug testing, (2) standard probation with random monthly drug tests, (3) standard probation with testing scheduled twice a week, and (4) drug court, an integrated program of drug testing, treatment, and sanctions that utilized a carefully structured set of rewards and punishments. The experiment was limited to first-time felony offenders convicted of drug possession or use (not sales) and sentenced to a term of three years' probation. A total of 630 probationers from Maricopa County were randomly assigned to one of the four experimental regimes and tracked for a 12-month period. Data collection efforts included: (1) background information on each participant, (2) process information on the characteristics of supervision and services provided under each experimental condition, and (3) follow-up data on subsequent drug use, crime, and pro-social activities for 12 full months. Background Data (Part 1) include demographic variables such as race, sex, education, marital status, living arrangements, and employment history. In addition, there are variables on prior drug use and abuse, drug treatment, criminal histories as both a juvenile and an adult, and risk and need assessment scores. Other variables include the results of drug testing and any sanctions taken for a positive result (Part 2), new arrests while on probation and corresponding disposition and conviction (Part 3), and technical violations and any actions taken for these violations (Part 4). For probationers assigned to drug court (Part 5) there are variables measuring probationers' status, probation recommendations, and judges' decisions at 11 different progress assessments. The follow-up information (Parts 6-8) includes monthly data on the status of the probationer, the number of face-to-face office contacts, phone contacts, work/school contacts, and community contacts, collateral checks, employment/school verification, counseling sessions, alcohol tests, drug tests, substance abuse treatment, the number of hours the probationer spent job hunting, in educational training, in vocational training, and in community service, the number of days employed full- and part-time, and the amount of earnings, fines paid, restitution paid, and fees paid.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

DS0:  Study-Level Files
Documentation:
DS1:  Background Data - Download All Files (4 MB)
DS2:  Drug Testing Data - Download All Files (2.3 MB)
DS3:  New Arrest Data - Download All Files (2.3 MB)
DS4:  Technical Violations Data - Download All Files (2.3 MB)
DS5:  Drug Court Data - Download All Files (4 MB)
DS6:  Six-Month Review Data - Download All Files (5.1 MB)
DS7:  Twelve-Month Review Data - Download All Files (5.1 MB)
DS8:  Thirteen-Month Review Data - Download All Files (2.8 MB)

Study Description

Citation

Deschenes, Elizabeth Piper, Susan Turner, and Peter W. Greenwood. Experimental Evaluation of Drug Testing and Treatment Interventions for Probationers in Maricopa County, Arizona, 1992-1994. ICPSR02025-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-05-15. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02025

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (91-DD-CX-K050)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   criminal histories, drug testing, drug treatment, felony offenses, intervention, probationers, program evaluation, treatment programs

Geographic Coverage:   Arizona, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1992-03--1994-04

Date of Collection:  

  • 1992-03--1994-04

Unit of Observation:   Individuals.

Universe:   First-time offenders convicted for felony drug possession or use in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Data Types:   administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

The user guide, codebook, and data collection instruments are provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided through the ICPSR Website on the Internet.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The strain on criminal justice system capacities due to an inflow of drug offenders has resulted in adjudication delays and early releases from prisons. In response to this, judges, prosecutors, and others have sought alternatives to prison and enhancements to standard probation that might lessen drug use and lower recidivism. Among the alternatives implemented in various jurisdictions have been increasing the frequency of drug testing during probation and instituting drug court or other programs providing for treatment integrated with court monitoring and sanctions. In 1992, an experimental program of drug testing and alternative interventions was implemented in cooperation with the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department. The goal of the experiment was to evaluate the effects of alternative combinations of drug testing, drug treatment, and intermediate sanctions on drug use, crime, and pro-social behavior among probationers under community supervision. The evaluation included two experiments: (1) a comparison of different levels of drug testing during probation supervision, and (2) a comparison of standard probation to drug court. The research was designed to answer the following questions: (1) Does the frequency of drug testing have any discernible effect on probationers' drug use, criminal behavior, or involvement in treatment? (2) For which types of offenders and with which response strategies does urinalysis testing prove most effective in reducing recidivism and improving social adjustment? (3) How is the effectiveness of drug testing affected by combining it with additional treatment resources (e.g., a drug court)?

Study Design:   The experiment was designed to compare the drug use and criminal behavior of probationers assigned to four alternative regimes or tracks: (1) standard probation but no drug testing, (2) standard probation with random monthly drug tests, (3) standard probation with testing scheduled twice a week, and (4) drug court, an integrated program of drug testing, treatment, and sanctions. Probationers assigned to the first three tracks were supervised by regular probation officers, using routine responses to violations of the terms of probation (such as positive drug tests). Probationers assigned to the fourth track were supervised by both a probation officer and a drug court judge, and they were counseled and treated by a private agency. The intent of the drug court program was to provide a carefully structured set of rewards and punishments responding to successes or failures in meeting specified behavioral goals. The experiment was limited to first-time felony offenders convicted of drug possession or use (not sales) and sentenced to a term of three years' probation. A total of 630 probationers from Maricopa County were randomly assigned to one of the four experimental regimes and tracked for a 12-month period. Data collection efforts included: (1) background information on each participant, including personal characteristics and prior record, variables known to be predictive of future risk of drug use and crime, (2) process information on the characteristics of supervision and services provided under each experimental condition, and the participant's exposure to them, and (3) follow-up data on the prevalence and frequency of probationers' subsequent drug use, crime, and pro-social activities for 12 months.

Sample:   Random sampling.

Data Source:

probation and treatment files

Description of Variables:   Part 1, Background Data, includes demographic variables such as race, sex, education, marital status, living arrangements, and employment history. In addition, there are variables on prior drug use and abuse, drug treatment, criminal histories as both a juvenile and an adult, and risk and need assessment scores. Part 2 contains the results of drug testing and any sanctions taken for a positive result. Part 3 variables document any new arrests while on probation, and corresponding disposition and conviction. Part 4 variables track technical violations on probation and any actions taken for these violations. Part 5 tracks the progress of probationers assigned to drug court, including probationers' status, probation recommendations, and judges' decisions at 11 different progress assessments. Parts 6-8 contain monthly review data on the status of the probationer, the number of face-to-face office contacts, phone contacts, work/school contacts, and community contacts, collateral checks, employment/school verification, counseling sessions, alcohol tests, drug tests, substance abuse treatment, the number of hours the probationer spent job hunting, in educational training, in vocational training, and in community service, the number of days employed full- and part-time, and the amount of earnings, fines paid, restitution paid, and fees paid.

Response Rates:   Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2013-05-15 Incomplete SAS transport (xpt) file for dataset 8 was replaced with SAS CPORT (stc).
  • 2006-03-30 File CB2025.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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