Criminal justice outcomes after engagement in outpatient substance abuse treatment

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2014 Mar;46(3):295-305. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2013.10.005. Epub 2013 Oct 14.


The relationship between engagement in outpatient treatment facilities in the public sector and subsequent arrest is examined for clients in Connecticut, New York, Oklahoma and Washington. Engagement is defined as receiving another treatment service within 14 days of beginning a new episode of specialty treatment and at least two additional services within the next 30 days. Data are from 2008 and survival analysis modeling is used. Survival analyses express the effects of model covariates in terms of "hazard ratios," which reflect a change in the likelihood of outcome because of the covariate. Engaged clients had a significantly lower hazard of any arrest than non-engaged in all four states. In NY and OK, engaged clients also had a lower hazard of arrest for substance-related crimes. In CT, NY, and OK engaged clients had a lower hazard of arrest for violent crime. Clients in facilities with higher engagement rates had a lower hazard of any arrest in NY and OK. Engaging clients in outpatient treatment is a promising approach to decrease their subsequent criminal justice involvement.

Keywords: Arrest; Criminal justice; Engagement; Outcomes; Performance measure; Substance abuse.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Criminal Law*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Survival Analysis