National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study: Changes in Criminal Behavior

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Changes in Criminal Behavior

There is a well-established link between substance abuse and criminal behavior. Society spends huge amounts of money, time, and effort on this problem and urgently seeks information that will help alleviate it. NTIES adds important information to the literature which suggests that substance abuse treatment can play a major role in crime reduction. NTIES respondents reported significant decreases in multiple indicators of criminal involvement.

Table 2 compares criminal behavior and arrests for the entire NTIES sample during the 12-month period before and after treatment. The results show substantial reductions in criminal behavior and arrests after treatment:

  • Selling drugs declined by 78 percent;
  • Those who reported shoplifting declined by almost 82 percent;
  • Before treatment, almost half the respondents reported "beating someone up." Following treatment that number declined to 11 percent; a 78 percent decrease;
  • Changes in arrest rates were less striking than those in self-reported criminal behavior, but the 64 percent reduction in arrests for any crime was still dramatic; and
  • The percentage who largely supported themselves through illegal activity dropped by nearly half - decreasing more than 48 percent.

Source: http://ncadi.samhsa.gov/govstudy/f027/crime.aspx

Click here for the next part in the series, "Changes in Employment, Income and Homelessness." Click here to return to the Index for the National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study.

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