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Cook County Jail Outcome Study

Cook County Jail Outcome Study

The correctional treatment and recidivism study conducted at the Cook County Jail was conducted by researchers from TASC and Loyola University, who performed a study of Gateway’s substance abuse treatment program at the Jail for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and Socio-Technical Research Associates. This study examined the effect of substance abuse treatment on re-arrest rates and compared results among inmates who had various lengths of stay in treatment.

Fast Fact
In-prison treatment is good public policy. It can deliver a 103% to 376% return on investment.

The treatment was provided through the coordination of four agencies: the Illinois Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASA) had general oversight responsibilities; Cermak Health Services of DOC/Sheriff provided medical and psychiatric care at the Cook County Jail; Illinois Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) conducted assessments, pre-treatment groups, orientation, services, and placement and case management services for participants completing the program and leaving jail; and Gateway Foundation, Inc. provided the substance abuse treatment. The program was a modified therapeutic community treatment model. Inmates moved through several phases of treatment, and graduates were referred to community-based treatment for continued care.

Correlation Between Substance Abuse Treatment and Reduced Recidivism Rates

The study showed that time in substance abuse treatment correlated with reduced recidivism rates: participants who spent between 90 and 150 days in the treatment program had much lower recidivism rates than those who spent less time in treatment; there was a near elimination of inmate and gang-related violence among participants; and 10% completed Adult Basic Education or General Equivalency Diploma educational programs while in the program.

The treatment program was selected by the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) to participate in its NIDA-funded study, “The Availability, Cost and Effectiveness of Drug Abuse Treatment Programs Provided in Coordination with Criminal Justice Programs” and continues to be identified as a national model by the Bureau of Justice Administration and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

For Additional Information About Gateway’s Research