Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS): The Criminal Justice Co-Occurring Disorder Screening Instrument (CJ-CODSI), 2002-2008 [United States] (ICPSR 27963)

Published: Jul 19, 2011

Principal Investigator(s):
Stanley Sacks, NDRI Rocky Mountain Research Center; Gerald Melnick, NDRI Rocky Mountain Research Center


Version V1

Currently, there exists an inadequacy in mental and substance use disorder screening instruments. This inadequacy stems from two reasons. First, the instruments are untested for widespread use with criminal justice populations. Second, most test for only one disorder at a time. The Criminal Justice Co-Occurring Disorder Screening Instrument (CODSI) study addresses this issue, investigating new methods by which to quickly, accurately, and easily evaluate individuals in the criminal justice population for COD (Co-Occurring Disorders). After determining that the Texas Christian University Drug Screen (TCUDS) would be the appropriate substance abuse screening component for a COD screen, researchers tested three possible mental disorder screening components: the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GSS, version 1.0); the Mental Health Screening Form (MHSF); and the Modified MINI Screen (MMS). The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID), generally accepted as an accurate measure of mental disorder, was used as a reference by which to evaluate the three different screeners. Researchers also used items from the three different screeners to create two additional instruments: the CODSI-MD for any mental disorder and the CODSI-SMD for severe mental disorder. Actual testing was conducted at four different sites, taking a total of 280 new admissions to prison-based substance abuse treatment programs. Instruments were evaluated based on their sensitivity (ability to correctly identify those with COD), specificity (ability to correctly identify those without COD), and overall accuracy (percentage of correct identification across all people). Researchers also conducted a study using a sample comprised of a greater proportion of Latinos and African Americans, in order to evaluate the effect of race on the results of the instruments.

Sacks, Stanley, and Melnick, Gerald. Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS):  The Criminal Justice Co-Occurring Disorder Screening Instrument (CJ-CODSI), 2002-2008 [United States]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-07-19.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institutes of Drug Abuse

2002 -- 2008

Collaborating research centers on this study were:

  • Texas Christian University (TCU). Southwest Research Center
  • University of California-Los Angeles. Pacific Coast Research Center
  • Rhode Island Research Center
  • Lifespan/Rhode Island Hospital

The purpose of the CODSI study was to investigate methods of evaluating the co-occurrence of substance abuse and mental disorders (COD) in criminal justice populations. The researchers hoped to remedy the fact that existing screening instruments usually test only one disorder or the other. Criteria for new methods included adherence to accepted psychometric standards, ability to correctly detect COD, and ability to correctly detect the absence of COD. The ultimate goal of the findings is to improve the design of appropriate treatment for individuals with COD in the criminal justice system. In addition to the core CODSI study, researchers also conducted a similar study with a sample comprised of a higher proportion of African Americans and Latinos in order to provide for analysis of ethnic subgroups.

After appropriate mental and substance abuse screening instruments were selected through literature search and stakeholder (researchers, criminal justice system representatives, treatment providers) input, researchers collected data by interviewing subjects with a variety of surveys. All individuals were subjected to a battery consisting of three different mental disorder screening instruments (GSS, MHSF, and MMS). Stakeholders had already determined that the Texas Christian University Drug Screen (TCUDS) would be the appropriate substance abuse screening component for a COD screen. Researchers also collected background and demographic information from subjects with the CJ-DATS Intake Interview. Using the widely-accepted SCID as a basis for comparison, researchers conducted statistical analyses of each test's sensitivity, specificity, and overall accuracy. This study design was repeated with the sample comprised of a higher proportion of African Americans and Latinos.

For the core CODSI study, 280 new admissions to prison-based substance abuse treatment programs were subjected to testing. Admissions were selected from four different locations: NDRI Rocky Mountain in Colorado, Lifespan at Brown University in Rhode Island, the Institute for Behavioral Research at Texas Christian University in Texas, and the Integrated Substance Abuse Programs at UCLA in California. For the supplemental study of African Americans and Latinos, 353 new admissions were used, most being present in the core study as well. This sample was comprised of 137 Whites, 96 African Americans, and 120 Latinos.

Substance-abusing populations incarcerated in the criminal justice system.


administrative records data

survey data



2011-07-19 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.


  • The 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.


This study is maintained and distributed by the National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program (NAHDAP). NAHDAP is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).