Cook County Jail Outcome Study

The correctional treatment and recidivism study conducted at the Cook County Jail was conducted by researchers from TASC and Loyola University, who performed a study of Gateway's substance abuse treatment program at the Jail for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and Socio-Technical Research Associates. This study examined the effect of substance abuse treatment on re-arrest rates and compared results among inmates who had various lengths of stay in treatment.

The treatment was provided through the coordination of four agencies: the Illinois Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASA) had general oversight responsibilities; Cermak Health Services of DOC/Sheriff provided medical and psychiatric care at the Cook County Jail; Illinois Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) conducted assessments, pre-treatment groups, orientation, services, and placement and case management services for participants completing the program and leaving jail; and Gateway Foundation, Inc. provided the substance abuse treatment. The program was a modified therapeutic community treatment model. Inmates moved through several phases of treatment, and graduates were referred to community-based treatment for continued care.

The study showed that time in substance abuse treatment correlated with reduced recidivism rates: participants who spent between 90 and 150 days in the treatment program had much lower recidivism rates than those who spent less time in treatment; there was a near elimination of inmate and gang-related violence among participants; and 10% completed Adult Basic Education or General Equivalency Diploma educational programs while in the program.

The treatment program was selected by the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) to participate in its NIDA-funded study, "The Availability, Cost and Effectiveness of Drug Abuse Treatment Programs Provided in Coordination with Criminal Justice Programs" and continues to be identified as a national model by the Bureau of Justice Administration and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.