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Behavioral management to reduce substance abuse, crime and re-arrest for drug-involved parolees
Date:1/10/2012

to the same environment you came from with the same people and temptations. Thus, a large proportion of drug-involved ex-offenders return to drugs and crime."

Addiction treatment during the transition period can reduce relapse, but competing priorities such as the need for housing and finding work often limit ex-offenders willingness to participate in treatment. Parole and probation are supposed to encourage treatment and prevent a return drugs and crime, but they are poorly designed to do so. Probation and parole are based on supervision and punishment for bad behavior. For example, if a parolee tests positive for drugs, he/she might be returned to jail.

Behavioral theory holds that effective reinforcers or punishments must be both immediate (close in time to the behavior) and reliable (happen every time the behavior happens). "Any parent knows that punishment alone is not the optimal way to motivate behavior it is best to have both carrots and sticks," Friedmann says. "The problem is that punishment is neither immediate nor reliable -- in part because of due process, but also because surveillance is imperfect and offenders have a disincentive to get caught. Conversely, drug use produces both immediate and reliable reinforcement, where a user gets a good feeling with every use."

Friedmann explains, "The everyday reinforcers of daily life such as a good job and good family life can't compete they are delayed and not guaranteed." Thus, behavioral theory explains what we see the reentry period is extremely challenging and many ex-offenders end up returning to drugs and crime."

Through the Step'n Out study, the researchers developed a system of "bridge reinforcement" to provide incentives for good behavior. Weekly over 12 weeks, officers, treatment counselors and clients worked together to agree on a behavioral contract in which there were three target behaviors. If the client met the behaviors then they were rewarded throu
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Contact: Nancy Jean
njean@lifespan.org
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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