Assessing the Post-Release Impact of Prison-Based Substance Abuse Treatment on Employment, Recidivism, and Re-Imprisonment

This project will provide empirical evidence to correctional administrators and policy makers assessing the post-release impact of the prison-based substance abuse treatment on employment, recidivism, and re-imprisonment. In 2006, the FDC initiated an experimental design in which more than 100,000 incoming inmates (for a three-year period) were provided the opportunity to participate in the study. If consent was obtained, inmates were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group in the event they were identified as having a substance abuse (SA) problem. This project will address several research questions, including identifying differential effects of SA based on specific modalities, treatment duration, co-occuring needs, and sub-groupings of the offenders. The analyses will compare the outcomes across groups using t-test mean comparisons and Survival Analysis. The research questions will be addressed using alternative methodologies (to random assignment): Logistic Regression, Propensity Score Matching, and Precision Matching.


Principal Investigator: William Bales, Ph.D.

Graduate Students: Catie Clark and Sam Scaggs

Dates: May 2012 to May 2015

Funding Agency: National Institute of Justice

Funding: $316,000