Staying in Drug Treatment: How Much Difference is There From Prison to Prison?

Bernadette Pelissier, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Mark Motivans, Federal Bureau of Prisons
William G. Saylor, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Scott D. Camp, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Gerald G. Gaes, Federal Bureau of Prisons

Until recently, multi-site studies of treatment retention did not pay much attention to the effects of differences between programs. The limited studies conducted in community-based programs found variation in program retention which was not attributable to individual charateristics but to program characteristics. Although some of the program content of the Bureau of Prisons drug treatment programs is standardized, there is variation in program maturity, staff experience, program length and other factors. The purpose of this paper is to determine the extent to which differences in prison-based drugs treatment program retention can be attributed to such program charateristics. The sample studied included more than 1,600 male and female treatment participants, 75 percent of whom completed the in-prison residential drug treatment program. Subjects were from 20 prisons, 16 from male institutions and four from female institutions. This paper uses a hierarchical linear model approach to determine whether there is variation in program completion after statistically controlling for individual characteristics.

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Updated 05/20/2006