Rock of Sisyphus: Treatment of Addiction in Israeli Prisons
Badi Hasisi, email@example.com
David Weisburd, firstname.lastname@example.org
Efrat Shoham, email@example.com
Noam Haviv , Noam.firstname.lastname@example.org
Anat Zelig, A737@zahav.net.il
The Israel Prison Service (IPS) offers several drug and alcohol treatment programs aimed at reducing the likelihood of inmates returning to addiction and to a cycle of crime after their release. The current research examines the effectiveness of four treatment programs employed by the IPS to reduce recidivism rates among participants: the Hermon Prison drug program, the Hermon Prison alcohol program, the Magash Program rehabilitation centers, and the Lev Project. For the purpose of the current research, propensity score matching was used. Propensity score matching allows the creation of treatment and comparison of prisoners who are matched on known co-variates.
In a survival analysis of a 10-year follow-up period, no differences between the treatment and comparison groups were noted in the chances of being re-incarcerated. In addition, no differences were noted in the risk of being re-arrested in the Hermon Prison alcohol program, the Magash program and the Lev Project. However, in the Hermon Prison drug rehabilitation program, the risk of re-arrest was significantly lower than for those in the comparison group. The gap between the groups widened during the second year after release and remained stable until the end of the follow-up period. The study reinforces the widespread assumption that drug addicted prisoners represent a difficult "hard core" population, and also points to the difficulties of rehabilitating them. Our study also indicates that the dropout phenomenon is a major challenge to the success of prison-based substance-abuse treatment programs.