Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Schroeder, Ryan D.

Author's Keywords

Rehabilitation; Residential substance abuse treatment; Recidivism; Labeling theory; Meta-analysis; Substance abuse


Recidivism--United States--Prevention; Criminals--Rehabilitation; Prisoners--Drug use; Substance abuse--Patients--Rehabilitation


This study is a meta-analytic examination of incarceration-based rehabilitation and its ability to reduce recidivism. Substance abuse is a large problem within our convict population; many times it is a substance related conviction that is the cause of the inmates’ incarceration. Claims have been made for decades that if society can effectively rehabilitate these convicts, recidivism rates will be reduced, ultimately lowering incarceration rates. By creating a stringent criterion of inclusion, this study makes an “apples-to-apples” analysis of prior studies on the topic, examining twelve studies of incarceration-based rehabilitation and their outcome variables. The data was synthesized through meta-analytic techniques to determine if the rehabilitative efforts of correctional institutions are effective at reducing recidivism. This study found, on average, those who receive incarceration-based rehabilitation are 43% less likely to recidivate than those inmates who did not receive incarceration-based rehabilitation (p < 0.0001). My hypothesis that incarceration-based rehabilitation during the era of determinate sentencing will reduce recidivism has been substantiated.