Substance Abuse Treatment for Connecticut Prisoners Reduces Rearrest Rates and is Cost Effective

Analysis of the cost effectiveness of substance abuse treatment programs for prisoners

From May 1996 through December 2000, Craig T. Love, PhD, at Brown University examined rearrests among substance-abusing Connecticut prison inmates to determine whether the costs of providing different levels of substance abuse treatment while incarcerated were offset by savings resulting from fewer subsequent arrests. Love worked with research colleagues at Brandeis University, Hesser College (Manchester, N.H.) and the Connecticut Department of Correction.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national Substance Abuse Policy Research Program (SAPRP) (for more information see the Program Results Report).

One of the project's key findings was that at each of four timepoints post-release (six months, one year, 18 months and two years), average rearrest rates were significantly lower for former inmates who attended a tier program.