Effects of prison drug treatment on inmate misconduct: A repeated measures analysis

Wayne N. Welsh, Patrick McGrain, Nicole Salamatin, Gary Zajac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A small body of research supports the treatment hypothesis that participation in prison treatment programs reduces inmate misconduct, although methodological weaknesses have limited generalizable conclusions. Using general linear modeling repeated measures techniques, this study examined pre- and posttreatment misconduct for 1,073 inmates who participated in therapeutic community (TC) drug treatment (n = 294) or a comparison group (n = 779) at five state prisons. Predictors included age, length of sentence, drug dependency, and prior and current criminal history. The hypothesis that TC treatment alone would significantly reduce misconduct over time was not supported. Instead, changes in misconduct over time interacted with individual characteristics and time served posttreatment. The article discusses implications of these results for treatment policies and future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-615
Number of pages16
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Psychology
  • Law


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