Evaluation of a Drug Testing and Graduated Sanctions Program in Delaware, 2010-2012 (ICPSR 35010)

Principal Investigator(s): O'Connell, Daniel, University of Delaware; Visher, Christy A., University of Delaware

Summary:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

The "Design Your Time" (DYT) program was designed to test, in a real world setting, the efficacy of systematically providing increased monitoring of probationers coupled with known, certain and quickly enforced sanctions to reduce substance use and increase positive probationer outcomes. Developed from a model of deterrence, the program informed eligible probationers of what exactly was required of them, what would happen to them when they failed to meet requirements (increased sanctions), and how to reduce their level of monitoring once they violated and triggered increased sanctions (reduced sanctions and garnered rewards). The program utilized a model based on deterrence in which certainty and speed, rather than immediate severity, were the key elements. It also empowered the probationer by clearly informing him or her of the elements of the program, thus allowing them to "Decide Your Time." The program focused on those offenders who tested positive for drugs at intake and involved frequent urinalysis for offenders, coupled with increasing sanctions and referral to treatment.

The collection includes 1 SPSS data file with 404 variables and 400 cases. Data from qualitative interviews with probationers, day to day observations in the probation office, qualitative interviews with the DYT probation officers conducted three months after that program launched, and a focus group with the DYT officers at the conclusion of the study are not available.

Access Notes

  • These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reason for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

Dataset(s)

Dataset
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No downloadable data files available.

Study Description

Citation

O'Connell, Daniel, and Christy A. Visher. Evaluation of a Drug Testing and Graduated Sanctions Program in Delaware, 2010-2012. ICPSR35010-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2017-03-22. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35010.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35010.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2009-IJ-CX-0003)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    cost effectiveness, drug testing, drug use, probation, probationers, program evaluation, urinalysis

Smallest Geographic Unit:    None.

Geographic Coverage:    Delaware

Time Period:   

  • 2010--2012

Date of Collection:   

  • 2010--2012

Unit of Observation:    Individual

Universe:    Probationers in Delaware from 2010-2012

Data Type(s):    administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

Data from qualitative interviews with probationers, day to day observations in the probation office, qualitative interviews with the DYT probation officers conducted three months after that program launched, and a focus group with the DYT officers at the conclusion of the study are not available.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the "Decide Your Time" (DYT) program could reduce drug use and recidivism rates among chronic drug-using offenders on probation by utilizing the principles of deterrence, graduated sanctions, and coerced abstinence.

The project had the following objectives:

  1. Assess implementation and program processes in order to discover impediments and facilitators of proper program functioning.
  2. Analyze the impact of the program on individual outcomes, including the use of official records and in-person interviews.
  3. Should the model prove effective and feasible, assemble materials and information relating to the project into a usable set of program training materials to facilitate program diffusion and implementation in the broader field. Should the model prove ineffective, attempt to demonstrate at the individual and systemic level those factors that hindered success and attempt to inform future researchers and practitioners of potential pitfalls found in the model.

Study Design:   

Urinalysis data served as a key outcome measure. All urine screens were recorded by the research team, including the date of the test and the result. This enabled the computation of 1) the number of tests conducted on an individual, 2) the time between tests, and 3) the result. Results could be negative or positive, and if positive, the type of drug was identified. Second, information was gathered from probation records on the number of missed appointments and whether the offender absconded. The evaluation team also had access to criminal justice outcomes, including new crimes, probation violations and reincarceration. These data were obtained from the Delaware Statistical Analysis Center (SAC), the State agency that tracks all criminal justice data.

Sample:   

The Delaware Department of Probation and Parole (P and P) agreed to conduct program selection through random assignment to either "Standard Probation" or the "Decide Your Time" (DYT) program during the intake process. The Onsite Evaluator from the research team oversaw the randomization utilizing an Urn Random Assignment program developed by the Clinical Trials Network at The National Institutes of Health. The Urn balanced on race, gender and whether subjects were direct judicial commitments or flowed down from a correctional institution.

Inclusion Criteria for program enrollment were: (1) offenders who reported for level 2 or 3 Probation; (2) had a recommendation or mandate for substance abuse screening in their sentencing order, or had a substance abuse screen ordered by the probation officer at the intake; (3) had a probation duration of 6 months or longer; (4) were age 18 years or older; (5) spoke English; (6) failed their initial urine screen.

Exclusion criteria were: (1) diagnosed current and known DSM-IVR psychotic disorder; (2) current conviction for sex offense (these are mandated by law to a specialized caseload); (3) evidence of neuropsychological dysfunction; (4) life expectancy of less than 6 months; (5) probation or parole requirements that prevented protocol participation.

The final sample consisted of 400 probationers assigned to either Standard Probation (n=200) or DYT (n=200).

Time Method:    Cross-sectional

Mode of Data Collection:    record abstracts

Data Source:

Delaware Department of Probation and Parole

Delaware Statistical Analysis Center

Description of Variables:    The data file includes variables related to any transgressions after randomization such as arrests, violations of parole, incarceration, or absconding. There are also variables related to missed appointments and to urinalysis including dates and results.

Response Rates:    Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:    none

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:   2017-03-22

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