Control Versus Treatment

The relationship between treatment and control can cloud the overall perception of coerced treatment. Most community treatment providers perceive treatment and control as opposites with treatment on one side, as ''the good guys,'' and control from the criminal justice system on the other side. In fact, many community treatment providers point to criminal justice authority as disruptive to the therapeutic relationship. However, this is largely refuted by the literature that indicates drug offenders under criminal justice authority generally remain in treatment longer and consequently have better treatment outcomes. In fact, criminal justice involved offenders remain in community treatment at least as long as others in treatment who are not criminal justice involved. There are other ways of thinking about treatment and control if the assumption is that interventions incorporate both treatment and control. For example, a therapeutic community/residential treatment facility is very high in treatment and control, whereas outpatient treatment is low in both treatment exposure and control unless a participant is involved in criminal justice supervision. Nevertheless, treatment and control are usually discussed as opposite processes, with this depending on ideology, perceived public interest, and political needs.

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