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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Collaborative Behavioral Management

A large percentage of people coming out of jail or prison are addicted to drugs or alcohol in one form or another. Being back out in society can be hard on parolees due to the pressure surrounding them and seeing old friends and places. It can be difficult for them to not go back to using; this can result in parolees breaking the conditions of their parole and ending up back in prison.

Some states have begun offering incentives to those who have good conduct and test negative during their weekly drug tests. A new study shows a program that provides a system of incentives for good behavior helps parolees reduce marijuana use. However, there was not much success among those who use stimulants or opiates, Medical News Today reports. The system is called collaborative behavioral management, where by every week for three months, officers, treatment counselors and parolees at six parole offices in five states worked with a behavioral contract that included three target behaviors. If conduct was good the parolee was rewarded through a system of points that allowed them to receive gift cards or other incentives.

Lead researcher Peter D. Friedmann of Rhode Island Hospital said in a news release, “Since the majority of drug violation arrests in the U.S. are for marijuana, these findings have important implications for the management of a substantial proportion of parolees. The study shows that an intervention grounded in behavioral science is feasible and effective in real-world correctional settings.”

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