Community-based aftercare and return to custody in a national sample of substance-abusing women offenders

Am J Public Health. 2011 Jun;101(6):1126-32. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300094. Epub 2011 Apr 14.


Objectives: We evaluated the effectiveness of the Community Relapse Prevention and Maintenance (CRPM) program, developed by Correctional Service Canada to better meet the needs of women offenders with drug problems.

Methods: Using survival analysis, we investigated the association between exposure and nonexposure to CRPM and return to custody among a national sample of women offenders released from 1 of 6 federal institutions across Canada during the period May 1, 1998 to August 31, 2007.

Results: After control for other risk factors, women who were not exposed to CRPM were 10 times more likely than were women exposed to CRPM to return to custody 1 year after release from prison, with more than a third returning to prison within the first 6 months.

Conclusions: Aftercare is a critical component of a woman's support system after she leaves prison. Strategies that improve access to community aftercare are imperative for improving the life chances and health of these women.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aftercare*
  • Canada
  • Community Health Services*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Prisoners / psychology*
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data
  • Program Evaluation
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult