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Article   |    
Legal Coercion and Retention in Drug Abuse Treatment
James J. Collins; Margaret Allison
Psychiatric Services 1983; doi:
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Research Triangle Institute; institute, Box 12194, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709

Research Triangle Institute

1983 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

The criminal justice system is increasingly referring offenders who have mental health problems to the community mental health system for treatment. The effects of such referrals on treatment outcome and on the mental health and criminal justice systems are not well understood. Because the length of time an individual remains in a drug abuse treatment program is an important indicator of treatment effectiveness, this paper assesses the impact of court referrals by examining the relationship between a drug abuser's length of stay in treatment and his referral by legal and nonlegal sources. Regression analyses on data for more than 2,200 individuals indicate that clients who are legally induced to seek treatment stay in treatment longer than, and do at least as well as, those who seek treatment voluntarily. The implications of these findings for drug abuse treatment and policy are discussed.

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drug abuse ; coercion
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