Systematic outcomes research for corrections-based treatment: Implications from the criminal justice kentucky treatment outcome study

Michele Staton-Tindall, Erin McNees, Carl G. Leukefeld, Robert Walker, Ladonna Thompson, Kevin Pangburn, Carrie B. Oser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Over the last four years, the Kentucky correctional system has expanded corrections-based modified therapeutic community treatment from 6 programs to 24 programs. To examine the effectiveness of these programs, the state initiated a systematic treatment outcome study known as the Criminal Justice Kentucky Treatment Outcome Study (CJKTOS). The approach involves corrections-based counselors using personal digital assistants (PDAs) to collect and enter clinical assessment data for the baseline. Follow-up interviews 12 months postrelease from incarceration are conducted by a university research team with a stratified random sample of treatment program participants. This article describes the innovative systematic data collection approach for evaluating corrections-based substance abuse treatment currently being used in Kentucky, as well as treatment outcome data for 700 offenders who completed prison or jail-based treatment one year after release using this data collection approach. Findings indicate that the percentage of jail and prison treatment participants reporting any substance use following release from custody was significantly lower at follow-up (43.9%) compared to baseline (94.1%). In addition, there were few differences in substance use at follow-up between offenders who participated in community aftercare compared to those who did not, but those offenders who participated in treatment had reduced rates of recidivism at one-year postrelease. These data suggest positive outcomes from Kentucky corrections-based substance abuse treatment, and provide implications for the importance of a systematic data collection approach to evaluate correctional treatment programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-724
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Offender Rehabilitation
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data in this report are derived from the Criminal Justice Kentucky Treatment Outcome Study, a project funded by the Kentucky Department of Corrections. Opinions and views expressed here are those of the authors. In addition, the authors would like to recognize the assistance of Melanie O’Meara, Laura Barnard, and Mary Carroll Burnette for their contribution to this article.


  • Offender outcomes
  • PDA
  • Substance abuse
  • Treatment evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Law


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