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Society for the Study of Addiction web site

Society for the Study of Addiction



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Skills Consortium web site. Opens new window

Alcohol Treatment Matrix

Effectiveness Bank: Alcohol Treatment Matrix. Opens a new window

Includes brief interventions

Drug Treatment Matrix

Effectiveness Bank: Drug Treatment Matrix. Opens a new window

Includes harm reduction

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Practitioners; Safeguarding the community

Key studies on the contribution of the practitioner to reducing crime and safeguarding the community. Risks formulating a general rule: The trickier the situation, the more the worker matters – suggesting that therapeutic skills are even more important in formally coerced than other forms of treatment. Also asks whether those skills can most effectively be deployed when therapy is divorced from criminal justice supervision.


S Seminal studiesK Key studiesR ReviewsG Guidancemore Search for more studies

Links to other documents. Hover over for notes. Click to highlight passage referred to. Unfold extra text Unfold supplementary text

K Judicial support motivates offenders (2001). Completion of a US court-ordered programme, urine tests for drugs, and comments from offenders, all indicate the positive influence of supportive judicial comments. See also freely available report on same study focused on relationship between comments made about the offender in court and urine test results. For discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

K Praise from judges motivates UK offenders ([UK] Ministry of Justice Research, 2011). Documents the encouraging effect on offenders of the unusual experience of being praised by judges in pilot drug courts in England and Wales. For discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

K Good relationship with counsellor deepens engagement in prison treatment (2008; free source at time of writing). Degree to which residents in a prison-based therapeutic community for problem drug users actively ‘worked the programme’ most closely associated with their perceptions of their counsellor’s competence, their relationships with them, and support from other prisoners in the community.

K Relationship with therapist more important for offenders than other clients (2008). At a Canadian drug rehabilitation centre, seeing their therapist as understanding and involved was related to whether patients under criminal justice supervision/pressure completed treatment, and the relationships were stronger than for other clients. For discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

K Client-centred supervision motivates UK offenders ([UK] Ministry of Justice, 2014). Survey of offenders who started community sentences in 2009 to 2010 in England and Wales found they generally had good relationships with their probation officers, and that they felt discussions on substance use particularly helped them avoid re-offending. Officers who addressed offenders’ multiple needs seemed to motivate them to make positive changes in their lives. For related discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

K Mothers in Wales say staff support critical to family preservation and child welfare (Welsh Assembly Government, 2008). Evaluation of a Welsh service which worked intensively over a few weeks with substance-using parents who imminently faced proceedings which could lead to their children being removed from the home. See also later evaluation (2012) of the same service. In both reports, mothers powerfully testified to the impact of individual staff. For related discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

K ‘Not my job’ perception and lack of confidence impede assessment of domestic violence (2016). Interviews with stakeholders suggest that staff in substance use treatment services in England often lack the skills or confidence to ask patients about their intimate relationships and possible violence between partners, and may not consider these enquires part of their job. Guidelines arising from same project below. For related discussion click and scroll down to highlighted heading.

R Supervising offenders (2002). Downloaded PDF is the whole issue of the journal containing the article which starts on page 16, numbered 14. It reviews evidence on how to plan and implement crime-reduction programmes for substance using and other offenders, including desired skills and attributes for staff supervising offenders, and highlights the quality of supervisory contacts. See also associated supervision manual below. For discussions click here and here and scroll down to highlighted headings.

R Best practice in working with substance users in the criminal justice system (Australian Government, 2005). Covers desired/required working styles, attitudes and understandings of treatment and criminal justice staff.

R Can motivational interviewing work in criminal justice settings? (2005). Asks whether the contradictions of at the same time helping and punishing, controlling and being client-centred (‘motivational arm-twisting’), undermine motivational interviewing’s ethos and effectiveness. For discussions click here and here and scroll down to highlighted headings.

G Manual for research-based offender supervision (2005). Led by the author of our starting point review, a manual on how probation and other supervision staff can motivate behaviour change and manage offenders’ behaviour instead of merely monitoring it. For discussions click here and here and scroll down to highlighted headings.

G Working with male patients who physically abuse their partners (2015). Based partly on research in England, key capabilities (knowledge, attitude and values, ethical practice, skills and reflection and professional development) for treatment staff working with men who use substances and perpetrate intimate partner violence. Associated study from same project above.

Search for all relevant Effectiveness Bank analyses or for sub-topics go to the subject search page and hot topic on treatment staff.

Matrix Bite Open Matrix Bite guide to this cell Open Matrix Bite guide and commentary. First ‘bites’ funded by Society for the Study of Addiction web site. Opens new window