Corrections-Parole Partnership in Drug Treatment: Targeting Technical Parole Violators in Pennsylvania

Rachel Porter, The Vera Institute of Justice

Findings from a three-year outcome evaluation of the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program in Pennsylvania will be presented. The RSAT program is designed for technical parole violators (TPV), a population that accounts for an increasing percentage of the state correctional population, and is the first corrections-based program in the state. The three-phase program consists of six months of intensive treatment in a prison-based therapeutic community followed by six months community corrections living and intensive outpatient care, and, finally, six months of outpatient participation while on parole. Participants who fail to complete the program are returned to state custody to serve what remains of their original sentence. The evaluation includes both process and outcome findings for each phase of programming. Implementation findings include descriptive information on the treatment sample, the treatment programs and correctional parole supervision. Researchers will present data on RSAT participants for up to thirty months after release from state prison for return to custody. This treatment group (n >500) is compared with a matched group of technical parole violators who were not placed in RSAT (n>400) and were released from state incareration during the same period as the treatment group. Outcome findings will include rates of retention, rates of return to custody, period of time at risk and reason for return. Criminal trajectory will also be addressed. The data will structure a discussion of the benefits and obstacles involved in providing monitored drug treatment to technical parole violators.

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Updated 05/20/2006