Selection, Retention, and Recidivism in Community-Based Residential Alternatives in New York City

Douglas Young, University of Maryland
Anne Swern, Brooklyn District Attorney's Office

Some of the longest-running treatment alternatives for substance-abusing offenders in New York make use of the city's extensive network of long term therapeutic communities. This paper presents final results from a multiyear study of justice-based programs that employ different coercive strategies to compel attendance and retention in TCs. Using findings from multivariate analyses, we will examine the relationship between selection factors, retention, and recidivism in these programs and discuss the trade offs of employing custodial sanctions and other responses for treatment failure. Discussion will also focus on the role of long-term residential programs in the city's panoply of treatment alternatives, particularly for use with serious, repeat felony defendants.

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Updated 05/20/2006