Effectiveness of the Dedicated Substance Abuse Treatment Unit in the Regina Correctional Centre: A seven-year retrospective analysis

Elan Paluck, Dorothy Banka, Michelle C.E. McCarron, Mamata Pandey

Abstract


The Dedicated Substance Abuse Treatment Unit (DSATU) is a specialized unit at the Regina Correctional Centre (RCC) that began providing comprehensive in patient addiction treatment to male sentenced offenders in 2008. The purpose of this paper is to report on the seven-year retrospective evaluation of the effectiveness of the DSATU. The study consisted of a retrospective analysis of the case files of DSATU participants (2008-09 to 2014-15 fiscal years; n=755) and a retrospective, case-control analysis of DSATU program data and Corrections’ Case Management Information System (CMIS) data from the Ministry of Justice. DSATU data spanned from 2008-2014, while CMIS data spanned from 2007-2015 (comparator group n = 535). The effectiveness of the DSATU was measured through Program Fidelity and Treatment Effectiveness, Changes in Institutional Misconduct upon completion of the program, and Changes in Contact with Correctional Services after leaving the correctional facility. Pre- and post-treatment measures of Treatment Effectiveness completed as part of the DSATU program were analyzed. Participants demonstrated statistically significant improvements in their knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and skills in dealing with substance abuse issues. In the period of time between completing the DSATU program and their release from the RCC, DSATU participants had: a significantly lower rate of Institutional Misconduct (disciplinary offenses) relative to the control group (25.3 vs. 45.8%); a significantly lower rate of re-contact with Correctional Services (recidivism) six months (17.3 vs. 26.4% for the control group) and 12 months (28.3 vs. 40.0%) post-release; and DSATU participants who came into contact with corrections post-release took longer to do so than those in the control group (251.0 days compared to 158.0 days). This study demonstrated that the DSATU program has been highly effective at reducing recidivism.

Keywords


Substance abuse treatment; offender rehabilitation; criminogenic needs; criminal recidivism; treatment outcomes

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