The prevalence of drug use among probationers, and the entire offender population, has been well documented. Numerous drug treatment modalities have been shown to reduce recidivism among this population; however, analyses of programmatic success are often based on a subset of offenders who complete treatment. Less is known about individuals who fail to complete treatment. The goal of the current study is to consider the interaction of drug use, drug treatment provision, and treatment completion on recidivism using data from the 2000 Illinois Probation Outcome Study. Findings from a series of proportional hazard models indicate that probationers who failed to complete treatment were more likely to be rearrested in the four years following discharge from probation, even when compared to individuals who needed treatment but did not enroll. Moreover, probationers who failed to complete treatment had more serious criminal histories and fewer ties to society. The research has important implications for the measurement of treatment provision in studies of recidivism, in specific, and more generally for the need to engage and retain probationers in drug treatment.

Read more here: