The Institute for Criminological Research
conducted this study with the aim of gauging the degree to which
subjective deterrence and rational choice affect drug-use
recidivism. A secondary goal was to explore the effect of other social
and psychological factors (e.g., those related to drug rehabilitation
counseling) upon drug-use recidivism. The Intensive Supervision
Program (ISP) in New Jersey was chosen because participants were aware
that new drug-use incidents would most likely result in a return to
prison. The main hypotheses of this study maintained that drug use in
ISP was an inverse function of both the degree to which participants
preferred ISP to prison and of the participants' belief that drug use
would result in a return to prison.
The Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) was chosen
for this study because participants in ISP were generally aware that
new drug-use incidents would result in punishment, possibly including
a return to prison. All participants who entered the program between
January 1, 1989, and April 30, 1990, were potential
interviewees. Interviews were conducted a few weeks after the
individual's arrival in the program. The aim was to interview
participants once they had begun to settle into the program, but
before any drug-use recidivism had occurred. Follow-up interviews were
conducted when the participant either relapsed or successfully
completed a year drug-free.
All individuals who entered the Intensive Supervision
Program in New Jersey between January 1, 1989, and April 30, 1990,
Individuals in the Intensive Supervision Program in New
Interviews covered participants' feelings about the
Intensive Supervision Program, risk of and reasons for drug-use
recidivism, and history of alcohol and drug use.
Successful baseline interviews were completed
with 516, or 94.5 percent, of the 546 felons. Follow-up interviews
were conducted and completed with 128 out of 158, or 81 percent, of
participants who tested positive for drugs and 38 out of 76, or 50
percent, of those who screened positive for alcohol. Of the program
participants who had no positive urine screens for at least a year,
follow-up interviews were conducted and completed with 84 out of 107,
or 78.5 percent.
Several Likert-type scales were used.