Adherence to scheduled sessions in a randomized field trial of case management: The criminal justice-drug abuse treatment studies transitional case management study

Michael Prendergast, Lisa Greenwell, Jerome Cartier, Jo Ann Sacks, Linda Frisman, Eleni Rodis, Jennifer R. Havens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The Transitional Case Management (TCM) study, one of the projects of the Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS) cooperative, was a multi-site randomized test of whether a strengths-based case management intervention provided during an inmate's transition from incarceration to the community increases participation in community substance abuse treatment, enhances access to needed social services, and improves drug use and crime outcomes. As in many intervention studies, TCM experienced a relatively large percentage of treatment-group participants who attended few or no scheduled sessions. The paper discusses issues with regard to participation in community case management sessions, examines patterns of session attendance among TCM participants, and analyzes client and case manager characteristics that are associated with number of sessions attended and with patterns of attendance. The average number of sessions (out of 12) attended was 5.7. Few client or case manager characteristics were found to be significantly related to session attendance. Clinical and research implications of the findings and of adherence in case management generally are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-297
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Experimental Criminology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Improving the re-entry process from prison treatment to parole treatment was the goal of the Transitional Case Management (TCM) study, which was conducted as part of the Criminal Justice–Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS) research cooperative funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). TCM utilized a strengths model of case management (Hall et al. 1999; Siegal and Rapp 1996) to attempt to improve the re-entry process at two levels: (1) by improving the collaboration among correctional and treatment staff, community parole and treatment staff, and other health, mental health, and social service providers, and (2) by working directly with the client to develop specific goals and plans for transition to the community and by assisting him/her during the crucial early months in the community to obtain needed services. The rationale and description of the TCM intervention are described in detail elsewhere (Prendergast and Cartier 2008).

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This study was funded under a cooperative agreement from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health (NIDA/NIH), with support from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (all part of the U.S.


  • Case management
  • Experimental design
  • Field experiments
  • Implementation
  • Offender treatment
  • Session attendance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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