Assessing the Efficacy of Treatment Modalities in the Context of Adult Drug Courts in Four Jurisdictions in the United States, 1997-2002 (ICPSR 3922)
Principal Investigator(s): Anspach, Donald F., University of Southern Maine. Department of Sociology; Bouffard, Jeff, North Dakota State University; Ferguson, Andrew S., University of Southern Maine. USM Research Institutes
This study examined adult drug treatment courts. Drug treatment courts are intended to reduce the recidivism of drug-involved offenders by changing their drug-use habits. These courts provide a connection between the criminal justice and treatment systems by combining treatment with structured sanctions and rewards. Researchers collected data between February 2001 and May 2002 on drug court participants, treatment services and staff, and organizations involved in drug court operations in four jurisdictions: Bakersfield, California, Jackson County, Missouri, Creek County, Oklahoma, and St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Part 1, Retrospective Participant Data, contains recidivism and treatment data on 2,357 drug treatment court participants who were enrolled in one of the drug courts between January 1997 and December 2000. Part 2, Treatment Observation Data, contains data collected from observations of treatment sessions at each site from May through July 2001. Part 3, Staff Survey Data, provides data obtained through surveys of 54 treatment service staff members.
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Anspach, Donald F., Jeff Bouffard, and Andrew S. Ferguson. Assessing the Efficacy of Treatment Modalities in the Context of Adult Drug Courts in Four Jurisdictions in the United States, 1997-2002. ICPSR03922-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2004. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03922.v1
Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03922.v1
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2000-DC-VX-0008)
Scope of Study
Universe: Part 1: Individuals enrolled in one of the four drug courts between January 1997 and December 2000. Part 2: Treatment sessions held by the drug courts' treatment providers from May through July 2001. Part 3: Staff employed at the drug courts' treatment providers from May through July 2001.
Study Purpose: This study examined adult drug treatment courts. Drug treatment courts are intended to reduce the recidivism of drug-involved offenders by changing their drug-use habits. These courts provide a connection between the criminal justice and treatment systems by combining treatment with structured sanctions and rewards. In drug courts the presiding judge oversees the progress of addicted offenders through treatment, drug testing, supervision, and compliance management. Previous research provided little information on the nature of drug courts' treatment services or on their impact on client outcomes. This study attempted to address these issues by examining the delivery of treatment services and offender outcomes in four drug courts. The following specific research questions were addressed: (1) What types of treatment services are offered by each drug court? (2) Is treatment delivery integrated into the drug court? (3) How do the philosophies and interventions of treatment counselors coincide with the goals of the drug treatment court? (4) What impact do drug treatment courts have on offenders' outcomes?
Study Design: Data for this study were collected between February 2001 and May 2002. Researchers collected data on drug court participants, treatment services and staff, and organizations involved in drug court operations in four jurisdictions: Bakersfield, California, Jackson County, Missouri, Creek County, Oklahoma, and St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Part 1, Retrospective Participant Data, contains recidivism and treatment data on 2,357 drug treatment court participants who were enrolled in one of the drug courts between January 1997 and December 2000. Recidivism data for all subjects were obtained from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). None of the four courts had a management information system that maintained complete documentation of drug court participants' activities while in the program. Various resources in each jurisdiction were used to gather this information. In Bakersfield, these data were obtained from a database maintained by the Kern County Department of Mental Health that was designed specifically for the drug court. For Jackson County, data on treatment services, drug testing, sanction information, and treatment attendance were obtained from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking System Automated Treatment Tracking System (HATTS) and from spreadsheets maintained by the treatment provider. Demographic and discharge information were obtained from HATTS, a prosecutorial database, spreadsheets maintained by the Drug Court Coordinator, and from hardcopy forms. In Creek County, participant data were obtained manually from a review of case files maintained on hard copy by one of the treatment providers. For St. Mary Parish, demographic information was obtained from a database maintained by staff at the treatment provider, and participant case files were reviewed to collect treatment attendance records, drug test results, and discharge information. Data for Part 2, Treatment Observation Data, were collected during site visits from May through July 2001. During each site visit trained observers were assigned to treatment meetings at the various programs in the jurisdiction. Attempts were made, in jurisdictions with more than one provider, to have the same rater attend all of the meetings at a single site in order to increase clients' comfort with being observed. The observational technique used in this study was based on previous work by Taxman and Bouffard (2000). Using a standard data collection instrument, observers recorded at five-minute intervals the amount of time spent on each of several possible treatment topics and activities. In an attempt to ensure the consistent application of item definitions, observers met after each day's observations to discuss any ambiguities they might have encountered during those observations. Counselors had previously informed their clients of the researchers' upcoming visit and no client in any program refused to participate in a meeting under observation. Observers also completed several summary scales to further describe the exact nature of the services being offered. For Part 3, Staff Survey Data, 54 treatment service staff members completed surveys. Surveys were distributed to previously identified staff members during site visits. The surveys were returned by mail, and respondents were paid 25 dollars for returning a completed survey. The survey included items on respondents' demographic information, treatment program characteristics, and a Philosophy of Drug Abuse Causation and Treatment Survey.
Sample: The sites were selected after an examination and survey of the substance abuse treatment components of drug courts across the country. Emphasis was placed on selecting sites that were mature and where the same treatment providers had been providing services to drug court participants for two years or more. Sites were selected to represent a broad range of geographic areas, socioeconomic status of participants, and treatment components. Bakersfield is a relatively large, single-site court in a medium-sized California city that used multiple, pre-existing treatment providers within the local community. Jackson County is a large, multi-site court in a medium-sized Midwest city (Kansas City) that used a single treatment provider that was part of the court and run by the local government. Creek County is a small, single-site, rural court that at the time of the study was using two private treatment providers in the community. St. Mary Parish is a rural, single-site court that used a single treatment provider that was run by the local government. To create a sample for Part 1, Retrospective Analysis Data, information was initially obtained on 4,003 individuals who were enrolled in one of the four drug courts for at least one day between January 1, 1997, and December 31, 2000. Of these, 366 were excluded from the study because they were still active at the time fieldwork was conducted. An additional 617 who were assessed but not admitted into the drug courts were also excluded. Of the remaining 3,020 drug court participants 385 were not matched with NCIC records, and of those who were matched an additional 278 were excluded because less than 12 months had passed since their discharge date. For Part 2, Treatment Observation Data, researchers chose treatment sessions to observe by developing a schedule that maximized the number of meetings that could be observed during the four days spent at each site. For Part 3, Staff Survey Data, the researchers contacted treatment program administrators prior to each site visit and asked them to provide a list of staff who were directly involved in the delivery of services to drug court clients.
Data for Part 1 were collected from administrative records. Data for Part 2 were collected by observing treatment sessions. Data for Part 3 were obtained through self-enumerated questionnaires.
Description of Variables: Part 1, Retrospective Participant Data, variables include drug court site, whether participant completed treatment, criminal history, date of admission to drug court, date finished with drug court, number of arrests while in drug court, offenses and dates of arrests after drug court, length of program participation, number of urinalyses administered and number positive, number of treatment sessions attended, drug use history, demographic variables, and several derived variables. Part 2, Treatment Observation Data, variables include drug court site, date of observed session, treatment provider code number, scheduled length of session, actual length of session, session type, number of participants, amount of time spent on 73 different treatment activities, number of missing clients, number of male and female clients, ethnicity of group members, whether the session was part of a specific sequence of treatment, format of the session, purpose of the session, treatment style, involvement of group members, and several derived variables. Part 3, Staff Survey Data, variables include staff member's position, demographic variables, staff member's treatment activities, treatment program characteristics, including treatment services and drug testing, use of rewards and sanctions, the program's interaction with the drug court, and answers to questions related to staff views on drug abuse causation and intervention.
Original ICPSR Release: 2004-04-21
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