Date of Conferral





Criminal Justice


Carolyn Dennis


Drug addiction is a known cause of recidivism and contributes greatly to inmate populations in prisons in North America. Little, though, is understood at the program level whether substance abuse rehabilitative programs are statistically associated with reductions in recidivism. Using conceptualizations of both punctuated equilibrium and differential association as the foundation, the purpose of this quasi-experimental design was to determine if participation in one moderate intensity program oriented toward the treatment of substance abuse is associated with reductions in recidivism. Secondary data were acquired from department of justice databases to compare a sample of 100 offenders who completed the program against 100 offenders who did not to determine whether there was a statistically significant difference between the groups. Data were analyzed using a t-test. Findings indicated no statistically significant difference between groups, thereby suggesting that program completion does not impact recidivism. Inmates who did not complete the program had, on average, slightly higher rates of recidivism than those inmates who did and the overall 12-month post release recidivism rate was 69.5%. Implications for positive change include recommendations to consider other forms of rehabilitative programming to better serve the needs of offenders and improve re-entry efforts, thereby improving the success of offenders and offering additional protections to communities.