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NCJ Number: 220442 Find in a Library
Title: Offender Needs and Functioning Assessments From a National Cooperative Research Program
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:34  Issue:9  Dated:September 2007  Pages:1105-1112
Author(s): D. Dwayne Simpson; Kevin Knight
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents an overview of challenges correctional systems face in optimizing benefits from their treatment programs while determining which components have the greatest impact on psychological, cognitive, and behavioral change
Abstract: This article asserts the importance of having reliable and efficient assessments to help correctional systems plan, monitor, and document client progress during treatments. At the same time, it provides the foundations for evaluating and managing services. Its key points emphasize early screening of offender problem severity and needs, gauging therapeutic engagement and participation as part of the treatment process, and monitoring cognitive and psychosocial function patterns over time in relation to treatment planning. Discussion on the studies included in this journal issue address reliability and validity of Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS) offender assessments along with descriptions of their field applications as client level and program level needs and performance indicators. Although the discussions focus on the same theme of offender assessments, the studies rely on different subsamples because of variations in the research priorities across the collaborating CJ-DATS centers and more important because the participating treatment facilities did not permit equal access for assessing offenders in treatment or for collection of comparable data. These variations in facility policies, including various restrictions on offender sampling options and data collection procedures often related to policy and security matters, illustrate special challenges to conducting research in practice, and requiring that accommodating adjustments be made in research designs. Progressive adoption and implementation of user-friendly assessment innovation in these settings are believed to be highly promising steps toward improving correctional treatment systems, particularly through better planning and coordination of therapeutic interventions. Such innovations must be affordable and responsive to practical needs to be sustainable especially in an atmosphere of strained resources. Attention also should be given to systems and organizational factors that can influence adoption decisions and the implementation process for innovations in correctional settings. The studies reported in the present issue represent progress toward these goals. References
Main Term(s): Corrections research; Performance Measures; Research uses in policymaking
Index Term(s): Criminal justice research; Drug offenders; Drug research; Drug treatment programs; National Institute on Drug Abuse; Offender financial assistance; Offender participation in rehabilitation goals; Offender participation programs; Offender tracking systems; Reentry; Rehabilitation
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