Criminal justice referral and incentives in outpatient substance abuse treatment

Anthony DeFulio, Maxine Stitzer, John Roll, Nancy Petry, Paul Nuzzo, Robert P. Schwartz, Patricia Stabile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A substantial number of substance abusers entering outpatient psychosocial counseling treatment are referred from the criminal justice (CJ) system. This secondary analysis of previously published findings from a large (N= 415) multi-site trial of a prize-based abstinence incentive intervention (Petry et al., 2005) examined the influence of CJ referral on usual care outcomes and response to the incentive procedure. CJ referrals (n= 138) were more likely than those not CJ referred (n= 277) to provide stimulant negative urine samples whether missing samples were counted as positive (50 versus 41%, p= .016) or as missing (96 versus 91%, p< .001). A significant interaction term was found only for percentage of treatment completers (p= .027). However, on that retention variable, and three additional drug use measures, significant incentive effects were confined to participants who entered treatment without referral from the criminal justice system. The study suggests that abstinence incentives should be offered as a first priority to stimulant users entering treatment without criminal justice referral. However, incentives can be considered for use with CJ-referred stimulant users based on the observation that best outcomes were obtained in CJ referrals who also received the abstinence incentive program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-75
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Cocaine
  • Contingency management
  • Methamphetamine
  • NIDA Clinical Trials Network
  • Parole
  • Probation
  • Reinforcement
  • Stimulant drug addiction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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