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NCJ Number: 91993 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Criminality in a Drug Treatment Sample - Measurement Issues and Initial Findings
Author(s): J J Collins; R L Hubbard; J V Rachal; E R Cavanaugh; S G Craddock; P L Kristiansen
Corporate Author: RTI International
United States of America
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 101
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bethesda, MD 20892-9561
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
RTI International
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Contract Number: 271-77-1205; 271-79-3611
Publication Number: RTI/1901/01-07S
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report addresses criminality indicators developed from Treatment Outcome Prospective Study (TOPS) data, a large multiscale study of clients in federally funded drug treatment programs from 1979 to 1981, with attention to their reliability, validity, and use in evaluating drug treatment effects.
Abstract: A discussion of measurement issues focuses on the incompleteness and possible bias of official crime records and the validity of self-report data. A literature review emphasizes research dealing with the drug-crime relationship or the effects of drug treatment on criminal behavior. The TOPS research collected data on arrests, self-reported offenses, convictions, incarcerations, and illegal income from respondents in pretreatment, intreatment, and posttreatment periods. A comparative analysis of self-reports of arrest with official records suggested TOPS self-report data were fairly accurate and complete. The report reviews the TOPS methodology and selected findings regarding participants' criminal behavior and involvement with the criminal justice system, noting that these clients were much more likely than the general population to report criminal behavior and contacts with police and courts. Of the 1979 cohort, 83 percent had been arrested at one time, and one-third were involved with the legal system when they entered treatment. This section also explores the issue of correcting crime estimates for time at risk. An analysis of demographic factors in the TOPS sample showed sex, race, and age variations in arrest probability, suggesting that arrest data may not be an unbiased indicator of criminal behavior and should be used cautiously as a drug treatment outcome measure. Other chapters outline a criminality measure that combines frequency and seriousness dimensions into a single index and recommend a strategy for using criminal behavior indicators in TOPS research. Specific issues considered include measurement techniques, offense typologies, a criminal behavior index, a criminal justice system involvement index, and adapting the Sellin-Wolfgang scoring system to TOPS. Research and policy implications of the report's findings are discussed. Tables, approximately 80 references, and TOPS self-report forms are supplied.
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Crime rate studies; Drug offenders; Drug Related Crime; Drug treatment programs; Program evaluation; Self reported crimes
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