ATI program for Drug Offenders


ATIprogram for Drug Offenders




Alternativeto incarceration is any other kind of punishment other than beingimprisoned that can be offered to a person who commits a crime. Inmost cases, punishments other than being jailed place severe demandson the law breakers by providing them with an intensive community andcourt supervision (Knight &amp Farabee 2010). Just because certaincrimes do not involve time in jail do not mean that they are softcrimes, Alternatives to incarceration is used to restore damagessuffered by the victims, dispense comfort to the community, and treatdrug addictions, the mentally ill as well as rehabilitating them.

Alternativesto incarcerations are valuable options for nonviolent offenders withsubstance abuse problems. They provide punitive intentions and at thesame time giving offenders an opportunity to be rehabilitated andreintroduced to the community (Thyer &amp Wodarski 2009).Alternatives to incarceration should be voluntary because forcedrecovery lead to different negative consequences such as lack ofself-motivation. Data was collected and analyzed better to understandthe effectiveness of alternative to incarceration programs for drugoffenders. The findings suggested different results. These programsproved beneficial regarding corrections. In addition, there is needfor insurance due to various outpatient programs in therehabilitation process and also because most of the drug offenders donot have permanent jobs to supply protection due to their substanceabuse issues (Empey&amp United States 2011).Once a drug offender is allowed into the ATI programs, a morepersonal attention should be provided by the counselors so thatpossible chances of falling back are reduced.

Researchquestions and a hypothesis

Indesigning experiments to measure the effectiveness of alternative toincarceration (ATI) programs for drug offenders, information wascollected in comparison to findings from the previous report. Thereport expands on the findings using the benefits of a larger sampleconcerning the ATI participants and their criminal court records.

Theguilty drug offenders were divided into four particular populationgroups namely women, substance users, males as well as the youth.Additionally, the interviews were conducted on drug offenders aboutthree months after being of these programs. The type and amount ofservice received by the participants be analyzed. Further, theresearch assesses how the drug offender`s needs were met (Empey&amp United States 2011).The test study report on program retention and the completionfindings assembled from the program files and outcome of preliminaryanalyses that assess which offender behaviors are associated withsuccess and failures in the alternative to incarceration programs.

Measuringthe effectiveness of alternative to incarceration programs for thedrug offenders involved different research questions. The studyhypothesis stated that rather than incarceration for drug offenderswith substance abuse conditions, alternative to incarceration arerecommended. They are considered cost effective and are sociallyresponsible (Thyer&amp Wodarski 2009).According to the responses from the offenders, it is assumed that theinterpretation is correct. Evidence shows that offenders who aresubjected to ATI programs receive more benefit as compared to thosein prisons.

Firstset of the research question is who qualifies for the alternative toincarceration and what are their treatment needs? Also, do theirneeds match the services provide by these programs? (Junger,2010). Thefindings from the study samples show that the four population groupsthat were subjected to an alternative to incarceration programsdiffer substantially. The result showed that women and othersubstance users’ participants who attended the programs are olderpeople with poor educational and employment backgrounds. They alsoshowed and extensive drug usage histories and had more mental healthconditions as compared the other groups (Empey&amp United States 2011).

Incontrast, the general adults and the youth drug offenders were morelikely to be males who were stable both socially and economically.All the groups were disadvantaged educationally and wereunderemployed. The defendant is targeting, and the referral systemshad matched the drug offender’s profiles appropriately with the ATIprogram specialties. Further, the uniqueness of the four groupssuggested that the state where these offenders come from canencourage the establishment and implementation of the alternative toincarceration programs so that the needs of these groups can be met.

Theother research question that the experiment study would formulate onmeasuring the effectiveness of ATI programs is what the criminalrecords of the offenders are, reasons for their arrested and how thecourts analyze their cases so that they are sent to ATI programs?Alternative to incarceration programs further serves the offenderscharged for the first time and with serious drug offences (Thyer&amp Wodarski 2009).The findings of these programs showed that there was little chargereduction between the final appeal and the arraignment with the ATIoccurrences. 70% of all the cases were discarded as either B or Ccrimes meaning that the judges had to use high petition charges withsimilar prison sentences to ensure compliance with the court. Thenature of these crimes can be reduced if the drug offenders succeedin the ATI programs. However, the offenders who plead to C and Dcrimes do not receive plea deductions once they complete the programssuccessfully.

Thethird research question that the study formulates is on what type andamount of services are provided by these programs and do the servicesmeet the demands of the offenders? According to the interviews withthe drug offenders after three months of treatment, an alternative toincarceration programs offered regular programming that that includescounseling and education. All the one hundred guilt offendersattended these sessions, and there were high levels of satisfactionwith the programming. For instance, women and substance users whoreceived extensive referrals and other agencies as additionalassistance indicated that their needs were fulfiled.

Thedrug offenders in general attended more professional and educationalsessions than other groups while women and other substance usersreceived more treatment in other fields such as counseling and drugtreatment. The youth received fewer services because most of themwere students and were receiving vocational programs. In addition,the whole group was to receive at least three drug treatment sessionsevery week. These alternatives to incarceration programs provide awider scope of services and helps meet the needs of the drugoffenders who participate in the programs.

Thelast research question formulated in the study includes how many drugoffenders completed the alternative to incarceration programs? Whatsegment of drug offenders remains under treatment at an interval ofthree months between the experiments? And finally are there anyfeatures of drug offenders associated with failure to complete theprograms? The report shows that the ATI program completion rates werelower than expected with 49% of the 100 drug offenders followedcompleting from the previous experiment.

Thegeneral population group showed higher rates of retention in the nextexperiments done at an interval of three months each in programcompletion. The other groups showed a lower rate of programcompletion as well as retention in the first few months. There wasalso a variance in the levels of achieving other results, forexample, remaining in the programs for an extended period or evenshifting to remedial therapy. The differences arising from the studyof these groups shows that it is unrealistic to expect same resultsfrom all the groups either for completion of the programs or anyother outcomes.

Inthe examination of possible correlations between the drug offender’sbackdrop features, program completion and substance usage wereanalyzed. In a span on one month before admission to the programs,the results clearly showed a connection with the offender’sinability to complete the ATI programs. Other factors that showedpotential dropout from the programs include self-problems of violentbehaviors, records suicidal intentions and mental problems. Programcompletion was linked to employment at the program entry. Thefindings should be tailored to help these programs identify the riskfactors and help them retain offenders in the treatment.

Alternativesto incarceration substantially reduce jail costs by preventing suchcrimes to occur in the future. Consequently, courts should be giventhe power to adapt cost efficient methods by reducing the sentencingoptions. Majority of the community advocate the creation and use ofalternatives to incarceration due to the potential values that ithas. The first value is that it these programs provide courts with amore sentencing course of actions (Wunnava, 2013). The crimes of drugoffenders are unique, and the prison may not be the best response. Ifcourts would come up with others ways other than incarceration, theycan give cost-effective sentences that are suitable for these drugoffenders. It would also help provide rehabilitation as well asprotecting the public in general.

Second,alternatives to incarceration help save taxpayers money. A researchshow that is costs the government twenty-eight thousand United Statesdollars to keep a drug offender in federal prison for a whole year.The alternatives to incarceration are cheaper, and they help preventovercrowding in prisons by saving taxpayer`s money (Junger, 2010).The other potential value of ATI programs is that they helpstrengthen communities and families. Prisons and jail discrete theoffenders from their families as well as the community for anextended period. Alternatives to incarceration ensure that that theoffender interact with their loved ones and the society by givingthem jobs that help them money, pay taxes and bestow to theircommunities.

ATIprograms further help protect the general public by reducing crimes(Wunnava, 2013). Research shows that over 40% of all the drugoffenders leaving prison will go back to selling and using drugs andare back in prison within a period of three years after release.Alternatives to incarceration to these drug offenders are proven tochallenge the causes of these crimes and prevent the offenders fromrepeating these crimes for the second time (Junger, 2010). Thegeneral public is aware of these programs, and they recognize theirpotential values by supporting them. More than 70% of the people inthe United States believe that probation, rehabilitative services andrestitution are the most appropriate sentences drug offenders, andprison would be the other best alternative if these programs fail.


Governmentleaders and thoughtful citizens have identified that efforts aimed atreducing community problems can easily be resolved by use ofscientific data on the ways that will work out best. Experimentaltechniques are objective and rigorous. The application of science inthe social world must consider the social and political cultureswhich have an inordinate degree of complexity and helps understandthe reality on the ground (Alarid&amp Del 2011).The actualities confronted by justice systems make the use of sciencea challenging, daunting attempt. The facts help explain why there areso many justice systems in use that have been developed throughscientific approach. Alternative to incarceration programs have beendeveloped they have a significance contribution to the scientificcommunity. The program is proved useful (Knight&amp Farabee 2010).

Theprograms have been developed through scientific research and cautionmust be used. Investigations of human behaviors and decisions basedon probabilities rather than certainties. The scientific methodscannot control the social environments that an individual operates.Further, these techniques face numerous limitations based on themethodological issues such as methods of sampling, research designs,tests and evaluation techniques (Alarid&amp Del 2011).Nevertheless, maximum effort is exerted so that the best results canbe given relating to alternatives to incarceration and prisonconfinement. Most of the scientific methods used are cost effectiveand those that lower recidivism. The studies differ, and the followthe procedure of scientific methods.

Thefirst contribution of alternatives to incarceration they lead tocommunity and restorative justice. Restorative justice is asubstitute to traditional court proceedings where is seeks to involvethe drug offenders, victims and society representatives in therestitution process (Alarid&amp Del 2011).Community justice refers to societies that use justice systemsinvolving the drug offenders of a certain city at individual levels.The primary distinction between restorative and community justice isthat restorative justice deals on specific drug incidences and tendsto be reactive while community justice focus on drug abuse inspecific locations and is more preventive (Petersilia&amp Reitz 2012).The drug offenders are held liable for the consequences affecting thevictims under the restorative justice.

Theother contribution of alternative to incarcerations is communityservice. These require the drug offenders to work in the communityand amend through earning towards owed fines (Petersilia&amp Reitz 2012).Community service is a condition of probation that is linked to otherprograms such as specific community harm. Thought community serviceare desired few systematic evaluations are applied to determinewhether drug offenders who have complete these services successfullyare likely to fall back to these crimes. Different studies prove thatcommunity service directly related to the reductions in recidivism.

Further,ATI programs use electronic monitoring. These programs require thedrug offenders to wear electronic devices that monitor their locationto ensure that they are in the right place. (Petersilia&amp Reitz 2012).The primary goals of electronic monitoring are rehabilitation,treatment and deterrence. Recovery is achieved because these arecommunity sanctions that make sure that these drug offenders remainin their communities as instructed. Treatment arises because thesedrug offenders are ordered to engage in appropriate programming.Deterrence is enhances through supervision (Alarid&amp Del 2011).Although this ATI program requires the offender to pay a certainamount associated with the electronic monitoring, research proveshigh completion of the drug offenders and leads to low rates offalling back.

Theother significant contribution of alternative to incarcerationprograms is intensive supervision probation programs. They provideclose supervision to drug offenders in the community. These programsinvolve rehabilitative treatment (Petersilia&amp Reitz 2012).The individual programs vary, and it is difficult to quantify thenumber of supervisors involved. Studies have concluded that increasedmonitoring has a little impact on the recidivism although they helpthe offender participate in appropriate treatment programs that helpthem improve on their behaviors rather than being jailed. Theresearch was conducted on the 100 guilty drug offenders who agreed toparticipate in the study. Intensive supervision program was appliedand after a year the results were analyzed. The outcome found that32% of the drug offenders who successfully completed the programrelapsed compared to 50 % of the untreated offenders.

Drugcourts have been established to deal with issues of drug offenders.They are individual branch courts established within the existingcourt systems. They help supervise community and treatment tooffenders with drug abuse issues (Junger, 2010). Most states in theAmerica have developed these drug court programs, although they lackin the federal systems. The States have different courts for adults,juveniles and family treatment programs that help cure them so thatthey can reunite with their loved ones. The effectiveness of thesecourts is facilitated by numerous components that differ from onelocality to the other.

Drugcourt desirable require that drug offenders to complete certain testssuch as urine tests, drug treatment counseling, meeting withprobation officers and report to these courts frequently on theirprogress (Thyer &amp Wodarski 2009). Further, they grant the courtauthority to recognize criminals as well as discipline those who failto change by sending them to prison or jails. They also require theoffenders to be nonviolent who meet certain eligibility requirementslike no previous history of violence or convictions.

Thedrug courts are not available on demand. The prosecutor handlingthese cases must refer them to the drug courts and in most cases itoccurs after the offenders pleads guilty for the crime of drug usageor selling. On the same point, the drug courts allow the drugoffenders, who have completed the programs successfully to avoidpleading guilty, having a sentence placed on them, or those serving ajail term (Knight &amp Farabee 2010). Drug courts have programs thatpermit the participants who have pleaded guilty to have their drugsentences removed from their files.

Designthe study

Researchdesign provides a connection that holds the study together. A designgives the research a structure showing how the major parts of thestudy work together to address the research questions. Researchdesigns perform the same purpose as recipe. It contains thecomponents and plan that ensure a successful completion of the study.They are the backbone of any research protocol (Vito 2013). Researchstudies are developed in ways that increase their chances ofcollecting data needed to answer different questions.

Duringresearch studies, information is significant if the research designfollows certain rules. Following these protocols increases thechances of getting accurate and useful results of the study (Knight &ampFarabee 2010). Further, is also important to follow these researchprotocols so that the results can be reproduced, and researchers andpublic can accept and consider them true. In addition, the researchdesigns must clearly define the procedures used so as to secure theresearch subjects thus maintaining the integrity of the factscollected. There are different approaches to design a study thatwould test the hypothesis of drug offenders. The research designchosen greatly depends on the type of theory (Gaebelein &amp Gleason2010). For instance, how one variable causes affects the other, howto describe them or the relationship between them. Further, theperiod and cost of the study are some of the factors consideredduring testing.

Indesigning the study of drug offenders, different research designs areconsidered. The first design is a descriptive study. The studyrequires information collected without altering the environment (Vito2013). They are referred to correlational and nothing is manipulated.The plan is proposed because it provides information about thenatural occurring behaviors, characteristics and attitudes of thedrug offenders. Further, they demonstrate the relationship betweenthings surrounding the use of these drugs. Descriptive studies allowinteractions with drug offenders and can permit follow up over agiven period (Gaebelein &amp Gleason 2010). Through theinteractions, the researcher may involve different techniques tocollect data from the participants like studies, interviews andsurveys. Under observational studies, the researcher can use recordsto gather information.

Thesecond design is the experimental studies. Unlike the descriptivestudies, an experiment is a study where treatment or programs areintroduced, and the result observed. They examine the validity of ahypothesis by determining issues previously untried (Gaebelein &ampGleason 2010). Factors consider four important elements namelycontrol random selection, manipulation and random assignment. Controland manipulation are considered the most essential elements.Manipulation refers to how questions are altered by the researcher inthe environment. Control prevents the elements outside that mayinterrupt the study. Manipulation and control lead to an outcome thatmakes us confident. Experiments involve systematic procedures thatminimize chances of bias and error which in turn increases theconfidence level (Vito 2013).

Randomassignment means that participants would be allocated to groups inthe analysis. It means that all the participants in the research aregiven equal chances of getting treated (Gaebelein &amp Gleason2010). This element ensures that there is uniformity at the beginningof the study, and the results would give a higher confidence level.

Samplingis another model for this study. It involves choosing theparticipants for a research study. It entails selecting a smallsample from the population that represents the entire population.Sampling is adopted because involving the entire population in thestudy would be impractical (Vito 2013). Research studies are designedin such a way that just enough members are considered to provide theaccurate picture of the population represented. Using Sampling designon the one hundred guilty drug offenders who willingly agreed toparticipate in the study would mean that only forty to fiftyoffenders would be considered. This example would help make aconclusion of the other drug offenders and the number of those likelyto slide back to the same crimes (Gaebelein &amp Gleason 2010).

Thelast design considered for the study would be a random selection. Itis a type of sampling design where the participants in the populationare chosen by chance (Gaebelein &amp Gleason 2010). For instance,the one hundred offenders represent the whole population. The randomselection can be applied whereby every fifth offender is selected. Itgives all the offenders an equal chance of being selected andparticipates in the study. Giving each offender a chance increasesthe chances that the selected sample would be an actualrepresentative to the larger group. Ignoring random selectionprocedures would compromise the research design as well as theoutcome.


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Alarid,L. F., &amp Del, C. R. V. (2011). Community-basedcorrections.Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Empey,L. M. T., &amp United States. (2011). Alternativesto incarceration.Washington, D.C: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare,Welfare Administration, Office of Juvenile Delinquency and YouthDevelopment.

Gaebelein,C. J., &amp Gleason, B. L. (2010). Contemporarydrug information: An evidence-based approach.Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams &amp Wilkins.

Junger,T. J. (2010). Alternativesto prison sentences: Experiences and developments.Amsterdam: Kugler.

Knight,K., &amp Farabee, D. (2010). Treatingaddicted offenders: A continuum of effective practices.Kingston, NJ: Civic Research Institute.

Petersilia,J., &amp Reitz, K. R. (2012). TheOxford handbook of sentencing and corrections.New York: Oxford University Press.

Thyer,B. A., &amp Wodarski, J. S. (2009). Handbookof empirical social work practice.Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley.

Vito,G. F. (2013). Criminology.Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Wunnava,P. V. (2013). Cost-benefitanalysis of an alternative to incarceration.