A program evaluation of jail-based rehabilitation programs in reducing recidivism rates

Carla Brookins, Tennessee State University


Although there is insurmountable evidence of the correlation between substance abuse and incarceration, there are a limited number of studies on the effectiveness of substance abuse programs in local jails. This research aims to evaluate the effectiveness of jail-based rehabilitation in reducing recidivism rates and provide a framework for further investigation. The study was conducted at the Correctional Development Center of Metropolitan Davidson-County, Tennessee. Using archival data from the Jail Management System, 210 participants were randomly selected and split into 3 distinct groups (completers, non-completers, and never entered). The participants were then entered into Q-term system to determine if the recidivated. Surprisingly, this research found that those that received some treatment but did not complete the program had a significantly longer duration of months free when compared to participants that completed the program. In addition, those who completed the program had a higher recidivism rate when compared to those that had some level of treatment. This research adds to previous findings in many ways, but due to many contradictory results, further research in this area is needed.

Subject Area

Behavioral psychology|Criminology

Recommended Citation

Carla Brookins, "A program evaluation of jail-based rehabilitation programs in reducing recidivism rates" (2014). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1557706.