Searching for Validation: The Elusive Addition Severity Index (ASI) Form

Robert McCormack, The College of New Jersey

Correctional systems throughout the United States have been searching for a scientifically based instrument to assess levels of addiction severity among inmates in order to correctly classify and assign them to therapeutic communities (TCs) or to other less intensive drug treatment programs in the general population. Validating these instruments has been an elusive project. The focus of this paper is a discussion of what has been used for this purpose over the past decade and the impact misclassification has had on residential substance abuse treatment (RAST) programs. The paper uses research developed from a recent process evaluation of the New Jersey Department of Correction's RSAT prograns as a case in point.

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Updated 05/20/2006