Participant Observation of a Therapeutic Community Model for Offenders in Drug Treatment

Cátia Olivier Mello, Flavio Pechansky, James A. Inciardi, Hilary L. Surratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper reports the participant observation of a Brazilian psychologist and a Brazilian psychiatrist during a 1-month period in two therapeutic communities (TCs) for drug-using offenders. A description of the activities undertaken by the prisoners who are serving their sentences at the Multi-Purpose Criminal Justice Facility in Wilmington, Del., is complemented with a theoretical understanding of the process. Clinical and developmental psychological approaches are used to explain the functioning of TCs when applied to a correctional environment. The theory of scripts and the use of metacommunication as a therapeutic tool are used in the explanation of these therapeutic procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-314
Number of pages106
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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