CJ-DATS: “Step’n Out” Collaborative Behavioral Management

Daniel J. O’Connell, Principal Investigator
Steven S. Martin, Co-Principal Investigator

Initiated: 2002

Funding Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Project Summary:

The Step’n Out study is intended to fully integrate drug abuse treatment counseling with parole supervision and at the same time to provide parole officers with a behavioral supervision approach that systematically rewards progress and punishes lack of adherence. Step’n Out uses principles from learning theory and role theory, and incorporates concepts of procedural justice in its design. The Step’n Out program is a “collaborative behavioral management” approach that involves biweekly sessions between parole officers, treatment counselors, and clients at the treatment site over a 12-week period. During these sessions, supervision and treatment requirements are monitored, client reentry goals are set, and specific target behaviors (e.g., remaining abstinent, attending supervision and counseling sessions, calling potential employers) are agreed to. The structure of the intervention encourages formal and informal communication and collaboration between the parole officer and the treatment counselor. Client progress on target behaviors and compliance with requirements counts toward (mostly non- monetary) rewards, and lack of adherence brings graduated sanctions. The goal of Step’n Out is to better integrate the work of the parole officer and treatment counselor to improve the likelihood that the drug- involved offender will be able to successfully transition back into the community.

Select Publications:

Friedman, Peter D., Elizabeth C. Katz, Anne G. Rhodes, Faye S. Taxman, Daniel J. O’Connell, Linda K. Frisman, William M. Burdon, Bennett W. Fletcher, Mark D. Litt, Jennifer Clarke, and Steven S. Martin. 2008. “Collaborative Behavior Management for Drug Involved Parolees: Rationale and Design of the Step’N Out Study.” Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 47(3) 290-318.