Date of Conferral







Lee Stadtlander


The purpose of this study was to understand how offender age impacted residential substance abuse treatment (RSAT) program success in reducing rates of recidivism for offenders exiting the judicial system. Despite passing legislation in the 1980s and 1990s, which increased the penalties for certain crimes, offender recidivism remains high, with no apparent drop in the number of incarcerations and re-incarcerations, resulting in high costs and threats to the safety and quality of life experienced within communities. Social learning theory, behavioral decision theory, and biologically based theories of behavior were the theoretical foundations. Archival data collected from a RSAT grant program at between January 1, 1999 and June 6, 2001 were examined. Data related to participant scores on the Level of Service Inventory Revised (LSI-R), acquired prior to program placement and upon program completion, were compared with the number of incarcerations before and after program completion; charges for convictions already decided and/or pending convictions, age at admission(s) and age at the time of the offender's first offense, and types of offenses (domestic or sexual) committed were explored in a factor analysis. Negative correlations identified included: sex offenders and their age at admission and between LSI-R scores and completing the RSAT program. Positive correlations identified included: new convictions and completing the RSAT program, age at admission to program and age of first offense, and date of first offense and sex offender variables. Implications for positive social change include reduced rates of recidivism among offenders with substance abuse problems.