Evaluation of Pennsylvania's Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program for Drug-Involved Parole Violators, 1998 (ICPSR 3075)
This study was a process evaluation of Pennsylvania's two Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) programs in their first year of implementation. These programs were maintained through the joint management of the state Department of Corrections (DOC), Board of Probation and Parole, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and two private sector providers that operated the programs. Opened in early 1998 in two correctional facilities for men, each of these programs could serve up to 60 male technical parole violators (TPVs) with a history of substance abuse. Instead of the nine- to 36-month terms typical for parolees recommitted for violations, RSAT participants served six months in prison-based intensive therapeutic communities (TCs), followed by six months of aftercare in a DOC-sponsored Community Corrections Center (CCC), similar to a halfway house. Both programs took a cognitive-behavioral approach to drug treatment. This study focused on the prison-based component of the RSAT programs. It examined the extent to which components of RSAT treatment were in place and the integrity of program operations. Interviews for this study were conducted between February and December 1998. At intake, program staff interviewed RSAT participants (Part 1, Intake Data), and Vera Institute of Justice onsite researchers conducted participant interviews upon exit (Part 2, Exit Data). Through December 31, 1998, 160 intake interviews and 77 exit interviews with program graduates were administered.
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Young, Douglas, and Rachel Porter. EVALUATION OF PENNSYLVANIA'S RESIDENTIAL SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAM FOR DRUG-INVOLVED PAROLE VIOLATORS, 1998. ICPSR version. New York, NY: Vera Institute of Justice [producer], 2000. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2003. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03075.v1
Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03075.v1
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (98-RT-VX-K002)
Scope of Study
(1) Data cover the first year of RSAT operations in Pennsylvania and many of the implementation issues that arose had been resolved by Spring 1999. Users are encouraged to obtain a copy of the project's final report for more information. (2) The user guide and codebook are provided by ICPSR as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. 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 on the ICPSR Web site.
Study Purpose: This study was a process evaluation of Pennsylvania's two RSAT programs in their first year of implementation. These programs were maintained through the joint management of the state Department of Corrections (DOC), Board of Probation and Parole, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and two private sector providers that operate the programs. Pennsylvania's RSAT programs were unique in targeting technical parole violators (TPVs). Opened in early 1998 in two correctional facilities for men, each of these programs could serve up to 60 male TPVs with a history of substance abuse. These programs were also unique in their focus on cost-savings. Instead of the nine- to 36-month terms typical for parolees recommitted for violations, RSAT participants served six months in prison-based intensive therapeutic communities (TCs), followed by six months of aftercare in a DOC-sponsored Community Corrections Center (CCC), similar to a halfway house. This study focused on the prison-based component of the RSAT programs. Men selected for RSAT from the state's western region were transferred to the State Correctional Institution (SCI) at Huntingdon. Men from eastern Pennsylvania were sent to SCI-Graterford. Gateway Rehabilitation Services, a private drug treatment provider, operated the program at Huntingdon, and Civigenics, another private provider, operated the Graterford program. Both programs took a cognitive-behavioral approach to drug treatment. Their logic model presumed that RSAT participants would learn to make socially responsible decisions and develop new responses to social and environmental cues that previously led them to use drugs and commit crimes. This study provided an interim assessment of the implementation of this logic model. It examined the extent to which components of RSAT treatment were in place and the integrity of program operations. The following questions guided this evaluation: (1) What was the underlying treatment philosophy of the RSAT program? What therapeutic methods were used and how was the program structured? (2) What was the program setting? How did the correctional setting affect treatment delivery? (3) How were new RSAT participants processed upon entry? What were the program's rules and how were they enforced? Were there any particular successes or problems in implementing this aspect of the program? (4) What treatment and other services were delivered in the program? How did the program's phase structure work? What was the program environment? Were there any particular successes or problems in implementing this aspect of the program? (5) How was the program staffed? Were there any particular successes or problems in establishing and maintaining program management and staffing? (6) What were the characteristics of program participants? What were participant perceptions of the programs? (7) What kinds of aftercare were provided after participants completed the in-prison treatment phase? Were there any particular successes or failures in implementing the program's aftercare components? (8) Did the program reach full capacity and remain there? What were the early program outcomes regarding participant retention and completion rates? What did findings on those who failed say about the program? (9) What were the lessons of this evaluation for other prison treatment programs nationally?
Study Design: Interviews for this study were conducted between February and December 1998. At intake, program staff interviewed RSAT participants, and Vera Institute of Justice onsite researchers conducted participant interviews upon exit. Through December 31, 1998, 160 intake interviews and 77 exit interviews with program graduates were administered. The intake interview included a supplemented form of the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), a widely used and studied assessment measure for substance abusers. The ASI was supplemented with additional questions, developed at Vera Institute of Justice, about criminal behavior and employment history. The exit interview included the Community Oriented Programs Environment Scale, program rating and satisfaction measures developed by researchers at Texas Christian University, an adapted version of the Treatment Services Review, and a series of questions about experiences on parole.
Sample: To be eligible for RSAT, technical parole violators must have had at least 18 months remaining on their (maximum) sentence, a demonstrated need for drug abuse treatment, and no history of escape, arson, or significant difficulties in the community corrections centers. All RSAT recommitments carried a mandatory time limit of 12 months regardless of time spent in the Community Corrections Centers (CCCs), resulting in varying lengths of stay in CCC aftercare.
Interviews with RSAT participants were conducted by program staff upon entering the program and by Vera researchers upon exit.
Description of Variables: Part 1, Intake Data, variables include sex, date of birth, date of admission, date of interview, RSAT site, current residence, ethnicity, religion, whether in controlled environment in last 30 days and length of stay, medical history, education, employment, sources of financial support, dependents, history of alcohol use, history of use of different types of drugs, which substance was most problematic, history of abstinence from drugs and alcohol, sexual activity, number of times overdosed on drugs, money spent on alcohol or drugs in last 30 days, and how bothered patient was by use of alcohol and drugs. Also included were data on history of alcohol and drug treatment, criminal history, family history of alcohol use, drug use, and psychological problems, marital status, satisfaction with marital status, living arrangements, number of self-help meetings attended in last month, number of children, age of each child, living arrangement of each child, and who had legal custody of each child, how patient spent free time, number of close friends, relationship with family and friends, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, and mental health history. Variables also include the patient's rating of the importance of receiving treatment for problems relating to health, employment, drug and alcohol use, criminal activity, social relations, and mental health. The interviewer's ratings of the severity of the patient's problems, his level of misrepresentation, and his ability to understand are also included for each of these areas. Part 2, Exit Data, variables include interview date, RSAT site, admission date, CCC location, medical care received while in program, participation in RSAT classes/sessions regarding health, legal problems, education/employment, family/relationship problems, psychological/emotional problems, and drug/alcohol use, a patient rating for helpfulness of each type of class/session, psychiatric medication, frequency of drug/alcohol tests, and detox medication, whether program helped patient obtain an ID, public assistance, or unemployment benefits, time spent in non-therapeutic activities, participation in individual counseling, frequency with which different issues were discussed in individual counseling, patient ratings for different aspects of RSAT program, parole history prior to reincarceration, whether the patient received drug treatment when first released, reasons treatment was not received, whether the patient had to find a job upon release and whether a job was found, whether the patient had to attend any other programming/counseling and what kind, curfew when first released and just before violating parole, requirements to submit urine for drug testing, other conditions of parole, living situation while on parole, access to transportation while on parole, reason violated parole, whether the patient made a legal promise to enter treatment, patient's understanding of consequences if treatment was not completed, whether the patient thought he would complete the entire RSAT program, and the patient's opinion of what factors would have helped him get more out of the program.
Original ICPSR Release: 2003-05-09
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