Screening, Assessment, and Referral Practices in Adult Correctional Settings A National Perspective

George Mason University.
Criminal Justice and Behavior (Impact Factor: 1.71). 10/2007; 34(9):1216-1234. DOI: 10.1177/0093854807304431
Source: PubMed


The use of screening and assessment tools to gauge substance abuse disorders and the risk for recidivism are two widely recommended practices. A national survey of adult prisons, jails, and community correctional agencies was conducted to examine the practices used to place offenders in appropriate treatment services. Study findings indicate that 58.2% of the surveyed respondents report the use of a standardized substance abuse-screening tool, and that 34.2% use an actuarial risk tool. The provision of higher intensity treatment programs, the use of standardized risk tools, and the provision of more community referral services were all independently associated with the use of a standardized substance abuse-screening tool. Because practices vary considerably, agencies desiring to improve correctional programming should consider different dissemination, implementation, and technology transfer strategies.

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    • "There is some evidence that the assessment and case planning processes used in criminal justice and correctional settings are less than optimal (Taxman, Cropsey et al. 2007; Taxman, Perdoni and Harrison 2007; Belenko and Peugh 2005). In one recent national survey, only 58% of institutional correctional agencies (prisons and jails) in the United States reported use of standardized assessment instruments, with community correctional agencies (probation and parole) showing even lower rates of utilization (Taxman, Cropsey et al. 2007). The lack of validated screening and assessment processes in correctional settings represents a significant threat to the overall effectiveness of correctional services. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Organizational Process Improvement Intervention (OPII), conducted by the NIDA-funded Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies consortium of nine research centers, examined an organizational intervention to improve the processes used in correctional settings to assess substance abusing offenders, develop case plans, transfer this information to community-based treatment agencies, and monitor the services provided by these community based treatment agencies. A multi-site cluster randomized design was used to evaluate an inter-agency organizational process improvement intervention among dyads of correctional agencies and community based treatment agencies. Linked correctional and community based agencies were clustered among nine (9) research centers and randomly assigned to an early or delayed intervention condition. Participants included administrators, managers, and line staff from the participating agencies; some participants served on interagency change teams while other participants performed agency tasks related to offender services. A manualized organizational intervention that includes the use of external organizational coaches was applied to create and support interagency change teams that proceeded through a four-step process over a planned intervention period of 12 months. The primary outcome of the process improvement intervention was to improve processes associated with the assessment, case planning, service referral and service provision processes within the linked organizations. Providing substance abuse offenders with coordinated treatment and access to community-based services is critical to reducing offender recidivism. Results from this study protocol will provide new and critical information on strategies and processes that improve the assessment and case planning for such offenders as they transition between correctional and community based systems and settings. Further, this study extends current knowledge of and methods for, the study of evidence-based practice adoption and implementation.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014
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    • "Findings further showed differences between settings in the use of these types of assessments and of those facilities reporting use, the proportion of offenders assessed also varied widely. For example, the use of standardized substance abuse assessment instruments were shown to be least common in community corrections and most often used by substance abuse treatment prisons (Taxman et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Many discretionary decisions made by practitioners working in the criminal justice system are partly influenced by progress reports submitted by treatment providers. Surprisingly, though, little research has examined how clinician ratings of treatment progress relate to subsequent success in the community. This study explored whether clinician ratings of treatment progress were associated with re-incarceration of offenders post-treatment. Ratings were completed by clinicians on a large sample of probationers (N = 419) enrolled in a Therapeutic Community treatment setting. This study examined the measurement characteristics and the factor structure of the assessment tool and whether the factors derived were predictive of re-incarceration at three years post-treatment. Results showed a clear four factor solution with no significant relationship between the factors and re-incarceration. Results have implications for both policy and practice related to offender assessment.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
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    • "(Glaze 2011) It has been estimated that at least 15% of these individuals are opioiddependent , and alcohol dependence is ubiquitous. (Polcin & Greenfield 2003) While the vast majority of criminal justice referrals to publicly-funded drug abuse treatment programs in the U.S. are through community corrections (Taxman et al. 2007), referrals to addiction pharmacotherapy are rare in most jurisdictions. Substantial evidence supports the effectiveness of medication assisted treatment (MAT) in reducing opioid and alcohol use (Amato et al. 2005; Johnson 2008; Saxon & Miotto 2011; Tompkins & Strain 2011), criminal behavior and arrest (Ball & Ross 1991; Schwartz et al. 2009), and HIV risk behavior and infection (Gowing et al. 2011; Metzger et al. 1993). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Substance use disorders are highly prevalent in community correctional populations, yet these settings frequently are ill-equipped to identify and refer offenders to community-based treatment services. In particular, community corrections staff are often opposed to the use of medication in addiction treatment because of inadequate knowledge, resources, and organizational structures to facilitate client linkages to evidence-based services. Methods/design Each of the NIDA-funded Research Centers recruited 2 criminal justice agencies to participate in the study. Eligibility rules required study sites that were focused on community corrections (i.e., probation or parole), had few or no formal relationships with treatment providers for referring clients to medication-assisted treatment, and had no state or local policies prohibiting such relationships. Sites under the oversight of the same parent agency were eligible only if they were in geographically distinct catchment areas, and could be assigned to different study arms without cross-contamination at any level. The 18 clusters consisted of community corrections officers and their offender caseloads nested within agencies, each of which was partnered with at least one community-based substance abuse treatment program. Randomization was blocked by Research Center, within which one cluster was randomly assigned to a training-only condition (comparison) and the other to training followed by a strategic organizational linkage process (intervention). Line staff received a scientifically-grounded, systematically-delivered training session that addresses gaps in existing knowledge, perceptions, and information about medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and local availability of MAT services. Key decision-makers subsequently were asked to collaborate in a strategic planning process to enhance formal and informal linkages between criminal justice agencies and local MAT providers. It was hypothesized that the two implementation intervention components together would be more likely than staff training alone to improve the process of referring opioid- and alcohol-dependent adults under community supervision to appropriate addiction pharmacotherapy. Outcomes were measured at the client (referrals), line staff (attitudes), and organizational (linkage) levels. Discussion Through closer collaboration among criminal justice agencies and treatment providers, improved linkages to effective substance abuse treatment should yield significant clinical, public health and public safety benefits.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013
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