Treatment Motivation and Engagement Among Incarcerated Substance Abusers

Matthew L. Hiller, University of Kentucky
Michele Staton, University of Kentucky
Carl G. Leukefeld, University of Kentucky

Studies of community-based substance abuse treatment indicate that motivation for treatment is critical for retaining clients in the program and for their becoming therapeutically engaged in the recovery process. Relatively little work, however, has examined the impact of motivation on therapeutic engagement in criminal justice settings. As part of the NIDA-funded Health Services Use by Chronic Rural Drug Abusers project, 220 male prisoners in a prison-based treatment program completed a face-to-face interview with research staff before their parole. Findings shows that problem recognition and desire for help were associated with indicators of therapeutic engagement (including desire to be in the program and belief that the program could help them), even after statistically controlling for additional factors that could have confounded these relationships. Targeted readiness and induction interventions are therefore recommended for offenders with low motivation who are remanded to treatment in correctional settings.

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Updated 05/20/2006