Reducing criminal recidivism in Alaska: The Set Free Model
This article is related directly to the First European Conference on Law Enforcement and Public Health (LEPH) held in Umea, Sweden in May 2023.
Keywords:Recovery, treatment, therapeutic campus, criminogenic needs
Crime associated with problematic substance use remains a defining characteristic in the United States criminal justice system. In Alaska, a perennial leader in US criminal recidivism rates, thousands of formerly incarcerated individuals continue to commit crimes and misuse drugs and alcohol following their release from incarceration. The total cost of these crimes to victims and Alaska’s criminal justice system is over $2.3 billion annually.
The Set Free Model is a comprehensive intervention addressing the primary risk factors of criminal recidivism within an innovative therapeutic campus environment. Occurring within a four-phase operational framework for an average of 6 to 18 months, participants engage in a suite of services proven to reduce further criminal recidivism. These services include certified peer support, supportive housing, co-occurring substance use disorder treatment, career placement, intensive case management, and positive community reintegration.
Over an 18-month period, the nonprofit treatment agency Set Free Alaska provided the Set Free Model to a sample of 32 formerly incarcerated adults at high risk of criminal recidivism. Participants displayed a 21.8% recidivism rate compared with the current rate of 66.4%. Treatment engagement rates significantly improved compared with traditional outpatient rates (94.7% vs. 66.7%). Employment rates were also remarkable compared with national employment rates at 1-year postrelease (100% vs. 37%). Validated calculations indicate the sample population may achieve $6.25 million in cost savings and net economic benefits. Evaluation results indicate the model possesses significant potential to reduce criminal recidivism and should be further expanded and evaluated.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Ray, R., & Madison, A.
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