Motivational Enhancement for Drug Court Probationers


Principal Investigator: TIMOTHY KINLOCK
Abstract: DESCRIPTION: (provided by applicant) This is a health services research study of a brief motivational intervention designed to increase the engagement and retention of probationers under drug court supervision who are entering outpatient drug-free treatment. Motivational enhancements are especially needed 'in criminal Justice settings 'in which offenders typically lack sufficient 'internal motivation to recognize, let alone reduce, their drug abuse. Enhancing client motivation to engage and remain in treatment may be particularly relevant for drug court programs because these programs tend to have greater levels of structure, control, and supervision than other criminal-justice based drug abuse treatment initiatives. Addressing this issue, the Social Research Center of Friends Research Institute, in cooperation with the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation, plans to examine the effectiveness of a motivational intervention designed to facilitate readiness for, and 'involvement in, outpatient drug-free treatment. Motivational Interviewing (MI; Miller, 1983), previously found efficacious 'in the treatment of individuals with alcohol abuse or dependence, will be adapted for use with drug-abusing probationers referred to outpatient drug abuse treatment by the Baltimore City Drug Treatment Courts. Prior to outpatient treatment entry, 300 probationers will be randomly assigned to either: 1) a two-session MI *intervention; or 2) a two-session drug abuse education program designed as an attention control. Measures will be obtained at baseline, 1-month post-baseline, end of outpatient drug-free treatment, and 6- and 12- months post-treatment completion. These measures will assess: the extent and quality of outpatient treatment engagement; retention 'in the drug court program; drug abuse (urinalysis and self-report); HIV-risk behaviors; criminal activity (self-report and official record data); psychological functioning; and employment. The proposed research will also identify probationer characteristics that predict: favorable response to motivational interviewing; compliance with treatment and the drug court program; and change over time in probationer behavior and functioning.
Funding Period: 2001-09-20 - 2007-06-30
more information: NIH RePORT