The effectiveness of community-based programs for chemically dependent offenders: A review and assessment of the research

Chanchalat Chanhatasilpa, Doris L. Mackenzie, Laura J. Hickman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


An assessment of 15 community-based outpatient treatment programs for chemically dependent adult offenders was undertaken using the format of the University of Maryland's 1997 report to the US Congress. The review finds less optimism about the effectiveness of this type of drug treatment than previous reviews. The assessment of these studies indicated that programs that increase the supervision, monitoring, or control over offenders in the community are not effective in reducing recidivism. There is insufficient evidence to determine whether outpatient treatment alone, specific components of the treatment (such as acupuncture), or aspects of the treatment (intensity) are effective in reducing criminal activity. Outpatient treatment designed as aftercare to prison-based therapeutic communities (TCs) is shown to be effective. However, it is unclear whether this is the effect of the TC, the length of treatment, or the combination of the TC and the aftercare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-393
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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