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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2006 Dec;31(4):365-74. Epub 2006 Aug 1.

Contextual barriers to successful reentry of recovering drug offenders.

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Department of Law, Police Science, and Criminal Justice Administration, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 899 Tenth Avenue, New York, NY 10019, USA.


Recidivism among recovering ex-offenders is usually conceptualized as an outcome of the interplay between personal traits and treatment interventions. This focus on the individual, to the exclusion of the sociolegal context in which recovery and reintegration take place, has limited extant policy initiatives. Recidivism data from 440 drug-abusing felons who had successfully completed long-term residential treatment were examined. All else being equal, recovering offenders who began their reentry during times of high unemployment, low risk of incarceration for new offenses, or both, were found to be more likely to recidivate during their first year in the community. These findings highlight the promise of blending effective drug abuse treatment with credible sanctions against drug offenses as well as the need for job training, placement, and advocacy services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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