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Assessing the Texas Christian University Drug Screen Instrument with Texas Department of Criminal Justice Inmates, 1999-2000 (ICPSR 3541) RSS

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Summary:

The overall purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric properties and credibility of the Texas Christian University (TCU) Drug Screen as an instrument to assess drug use severity for treatment referral decisions in correctional settings. TCU Drug Screen data were collected on 18,364 Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) inmates (15,816 males and 2,548 females) who completed the screen between January 1 and April 30, 1999. Of the 18,364 subjects, 13,902 were Institutional Division (TDCJ-ID) inmates and 4,462 were State Jail Division (TDCJ-SJD) inmates. The TCU Drug Screen was administered by TDCJ staff almost exclusively in a small group setting (12-25 inmates per group) as part of a larger battery of assessments during the intake process at a TDCJ facility. The level and intensity of treatment services needed was then determined and a referral decision was made. As part of this study, the relationship between TCU Drug Screen information and post-release reincarceration was examined. Although one original goal in the study was to assess the comparability, or concurrent validity, of the TCU Drug Screen with the lengthier, more comprehensive Addiction Severity Index (ASI), TDCJ changed the administration protocol for the ASI so that it was given only to a subsample of 3,245 inmates who failed to disclose drug use problems on the TCU Drug Screen. The data include inmate responses to all items of the TCU Drug Screen and the overall drug screen score. There is also demographic information as well as incarceration, release, and reincarceration data.

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Study Description

Citation

Knight, Kevin D., Dwayne Simpson, and Janis Rhodes. Assessing the Texas Christian University Drug Screen Instrument with Texas Department of Criminal Justice Inmates, 1999-2000. ICPSR03541-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2003. doi:10.3886/ICPSR03541.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (99-MU-MU-K008)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   addiction, drug abuse, drug dependence, drug offenders, drug treatment, inmate classification, inmates, psychological evaluation, recidivism, substance abuse, testing and measurement, treatment outcome, treatment programs

Geographic Coverage:   Texas, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1999--2000

Date of Collection:  

  • 1999--2000

Unit of Observation:   Individuals.

Universe:   Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) inmates.

Data Types:   administrative records data, clinical data, medical records, survey data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The overall purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric properties and credibility of the Texas Christian University (TCU) Drug Screen as an instrument to assess drug use severity for treatment referral decisions in correctional settings. There were several specific aims of this study: (1) to examine the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) implementation protocol for the TCU Drug Screen, (2) to substantiate the form's credibility through a comprehensive assessment of its psychometric properties, including estimates of internal consistency reliability, (3) to establish normative data for representative samples of Texas inmates, thereby providing severity of drug use information for logical and meaningful referent groups, and providing a means to identify subsamples with the highest levels of drug use and greatest need for treatment, and (4) to provide a revised version of the instrument for public dissemination.

Study Design:   TCU Drug Screen data were collected on 18,364 Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) inmates (15,816 males and 2,548 females) who completed the screen between January 1 and April 30, 1999. Of the 18,364 subjects, 13,902 were Institutional Division (TDCJ-ID) inmates and 4,462 were State Jail Division (TDCJ-SJD) inmates. Two meetings were held with staff at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice -- Program and Services Division (TDCJ-PSD), and administration of the drug screen was observed. Although designed to be administered in a group or individual setting, the TCU Drug Screen was administered by TDCJ staff almost exclusively in a small group setting (12-25 inmates per group) as part of a larger battery of assessments during the intake process at a TDCJ facility. A staff person handed out the instrument and explained that TDCJ provided treatment services to inmates who had a demonstrated need and that responses to the instrument could have an impact on whether or not they received treatment services while incarcerated. Inmates were reminded that untruthful responses (particularly if inconsistent with other information in their file such as admissions of drug use during a presentence investigation) might not be viewed favorably during the prerelease supervision review process. The TCU Drug Screen instructions and items were then read aloud, with inmates being asked to follow along and to respond only after an item was read. For those who did not speak English, a bilingual staff person or inmate assisted in the administration of the form. Once completed, the screens were optically scanned and scored and a computer-generated report with the TCU Drug Screen was printed. The level and intensity of treatment services needed was then determined and a referral decision was made. A review of existing records also was conducted to determine if there was any evidence of drug-related problems. As part of this study, the relationship between TCU Drug Screen information and post-release reincarceration was examined. Of the 18,364 subjects, a subset of inmates had been released from TDCJ at least one year prior to the collection of reincarceration data, thus eligible to be included in analyses of one-year post-release reincarceration data. The remaining subjects had either not been released or were released within the year and were therefore excluded from follow-up analyses. Although one original goal in the study was to assess the comparability, or concurrent validity, of the TCU Drug Screen with the lengthier, more comprehensive Addiction Severity Index (ASI), TDCJ changed the administration protocol for the ASI so that it was given only to a subsample of 3,245 inmates who failed to disclose drug use problems on the TCU Drug Screen. Furthermore, prior to ASI administration, an interviewer explained to the inmates that this was their second chance to report any drug-related problems, confronted them with any corroborating evidence of drug use from their files, and then informed them that parole review boards do not look favorably upon inmates who are suspected of being dishonest.

Sample:   Data were collected on a cohort of 18,364 Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) inmates (15,816 males and 2,548 females) who completed the TCU Drug Screen between January 1 and April 30, 1999.

Data Source:

Data were collected from the records of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Texas Christian University Drug Screen.

Description of Variables:   The data include inmate responses to all items of the TCU Drug Screen as well as the overall drug screen score. Also included are demographic information such as age, race, gender, IQ score, and highest grade completed, incarceration data, release data, and reincarceration data, such as dates, offenses, days out, and treatment programs attended.

Response Rates:   Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:   Likert-type scales are present in the TCU Drug Screen. Educational Achievement scores, TDCJ IQ scores, the TDCJ version of the Hoffman Recidivism Risk scores, and Addiction Severity Index (ASI) ratings are also included in the data.

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