Is treatment non-completion associated with increased reconviction over no treatment?
Abstract:There is accruing evidence that offenders who do not complete treatment are at greater risk of recidivism than those who do complete treatment. Profiles of non-completers show them to be high risk of reoffending compared with completers, and differences in reconviction may be explained by these baseline levels. What is unclear is whether non-completion actually increases the risk of reoffending over no treatment at all. The purpose of this review was to examine the recidivism of non-completers compared with untreated offenders of comparable risk. A systematic search of the literature relating to cognitive-behavioural interventions revealed 16 relevant studies describing 17 samples. The mean effect size (d=-0.16) of differences in reoffending between untreated offenders and treatment non-completers suggests that failing to complete treatment is associated with elevated levels of reoffending, with this effect being more pronounced in community samples (d=-0.23) than institutional samples (d=-0.15). Methodological limitations include poor risk comparability between samples and heterogeneity of non-completers, nevertheless it is possible that treatment non-completion may make some offenders more likely to reoffend.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2007-06-01