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Article
Economic Evaluation of a Pre-Release Substance Abuse Treatment Program for Repeat Criminal Offenders
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment (2010)
  • Michael T. French, University of Miami
  • Hai Fang
  • Ralph Fretz
Abstract
Substance use disorders are common conditions among repeat criminal offenders. Without addressing these underlying substance use behaviors, parolees are significantly more likely to recidivate within 1 year of release. New Jersey is one of the first states to actively pursue substance abuse treatment options for inmates who are in the final stages of their sentences. Given the fiscal realities of taxpayer-supported programs, such initiatives must clearly demonstrate economic benefits for sustainability and growth. This article conducted one of the few comprehensive economic evaluations of prerelease substance abuse treatment to determine whether Community Education Centers' programs in New Jersey generated desirable outcomes, significant economic benefits, and positive net benefits. Relative to a matched comparison group of offenders who did not receive treatment, the intervention group returned an average economic benefit of $4,307 to $6,209 over the 1-year postrelease period. These economic benefits are underscored by the fact that the treatment program is housed in a separate facility, with a lower average per diem from that of the general inmate population. These results provide quantitative economic evidence that prerelease substance abuse treatment programs have the potential to reduce recidivism and save taxpayer dollars without adding to existing prison resources.
Keywords
  • Cost,
  • Economic benefits,
  • Substance abuse treatment
Publication Date
2010
Publisher Statement
This article was published by Elsevier (doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2009.06.001).
Citation Information
Michael T. French, Hai Fang and Ralph Fretz. "Economic Evaluation of a Pre-Release Substance Abuse Treatment Program for Repeat Criminal Offenders" Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Vol. 38 (2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_french/41/