Times They Are A-Changin: Examining the Difference in Drug Treatment Participants From the 1990s and 2000s

Daniel J. O'Connell, University of Delaware
Steven S. Martin, University of Delaware
James A. Inciardi, University of Delaware

Therapeutic Community treatment programs for drug invovled offenders have become almost commonplace in American prisons. Meeting the needs of program participants is important for the successful implementation treatment regimes and, in turn, the for the successful outcomes of the clients. Yet much of the content of programs has been geared towards older offenders with histories of heroin and crack cocaine use. recent, younger offenders may present different drug and other problems than in the past. Using data from an ongoing study of treatment effectiveness for drug involved offenders, this research compares a cohort of offenders released in the early 1990s to a cohort released in the 1999-2002 period. Changes in demographics, psychological indicators, drug and criminal histories, and treatment needs of program participants are examined to investigate whether today's program participant is different from those of a decade ago. Suggestions for hgow programs might consider a changing clientele are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006