Making it: inside perceptions on success, relapse, and recidivism by In Prison Therapeutic Treatment Community (IPTC) program parolees in Harris County Texas
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The purpose of this research study was to address the gap in the research literature that existed concerning the absence of qualitative data addressing relapse and recidivism in Texas. Numerous quantitative studies dealt with these issues. However, gaps in the literature existed because accounts and opinions of specific participants regarding these conclusions were absent. Consequently, we lacked specific direction. The perspective of the individual, the insider, was missing. This study helped determine the meaning of "making it" for the parolee/addict attempting to assimilate into the general population and avoid relapse and recidivism. To achieve the research objectives, an ethnographic interview methodology was utilized. The population engaged in the study included male parolees who live in Harris County Texas. All men gained parole between 1992 and 1994, hold positions as professionals in substance abuse counseling, and reported ten years or more of drug free and crime free living. The literature review established the documented need and importance for a qualitative study. The literature defined recidivism according to Texas state officials. The literature considered achievement of parolees who attended the Windham School District. The final section of literature considered the development and operation of the In Prison Therapeutic Community (IPTC) program. The findings from the interviews determined that "making it" consisted of working the twelve-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), meeting with parole officers, dealing with risky behaviors, and remaining committed to a drug free and crime free life. Study participants expressed that state record keeping appeared inaccurate and presented a false picture regarding the actual number of drug related arrests and the actual long-term recidivism rate. The participants noted that the Windham School District exhibited a major influence in making a conscious decision to turn toward positive outcomes. It was recommended that the role of the Windham School District be expanded due to the record of achievement. Other recommendations included the establishment of a longitudinal study of Texas parolees to exceed five years in duration to check long-term recidivism rates and an ethnographic study that focused on the members of the Winner's Circle.
Hall, Michael Bruce (2003). Making it: inside perceptions on success, relapse, and recidivism by In Prison Therapeutic Treatment Community (IPTC) program parolees in Harris County Texas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from