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2022/12/15: Research of the Career Development and the Related Community Transfer Measures of Drug Crime Offenders-The Second Year Research

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  • Last updated:2022-12-15
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This is a two-year research investigates career development and community re-entry transition of drug crime offenders. Last year (2021), authors conducted a mixed method study: qualitative interviews from ex-offenders’ perspective on job hunt, employment, and their perceptions on the institutes’ skill-training and work system; questionnaire surveys on the impact of self-labeling, social exclusion and employment willingness of drug offenders; survival analysis was used to examined the trajectory of drug offenders entering and exiting correctional institutions data from 2008 to 2020. This year (2022), researchers conducts qualitative interviews with interviewees from fields including: probation system, rehabilitation and protection system, correctional institutions, drug prevention, labour and welfare, and nonprofit organizations. Topics focus on the lateral cooperation, work situation between different fields and difficulties they have encountered when working in the frontline; enhancing future ex-drug offender employment related policies. In order to understand the recidivism deterrent effect of drug-related treatment in Taiwan, researchers uses survival analysis to demonstrate the five-year survival rates of three types of institutional treatments (drug offenders, drug offenders receiving rehabilitation treatment, and drug offenders under observation) after 1998. As well as the five-year survival rates of three types of drug treatments (ex-drug offenders who participated in a deferred prosecution and completed detoxification treatment (in short of DPCCAT), drug offenders receiving rehabilitation treatment, and drug offenders under observation) from 2009, which was one year after the implementation of Detoxification treatment via deferred prosecution policy in 2008.

Qualitative research results revealed that practitioners faced many dilemmas such as lacked of coercive power led to loose contact with ex-offenders, low willingness to use resources, and placement of elderly ex-offenders. They also encountered excessive workload, job responsibilities overlap, understaffed, and insufficient space problems when advocate programs or cooperate with other sectors. Overall, interviewees suggested that in the future, the implementation of drug prevention should establish an immediate information sharing platform among different sectors, set the principle of opening/closing cases among various units, and the provision of incentives for the placement of elderly cases, along with the need of proper communication mechanisms between frontline service agencies and supervisory authority. Interviewees also suggested to simplify point of contact for services, assist cases to improve their financial situation, and establish a re-entry workplace training, internship, and work ability evaluation in terms of providing services. Lastly, while reviewing the success rate of counseling or the effectiveness of implementation, people should not only look at the policies coverage rates, but also valued the actual situation cases face when returning to the society.

Based on the survival analysis results, out of three types of institutional treatments after 1998, drug offenders under observation had the best five-year survival rates with recidivism period of 3.33 years; drug offenders receiving rehabilitation treatment with 2.75 years, and drug offenders with 3.2 years of recidivism period. On top of that, the risk of drug recidivism is 0.878 time greater for drug offenders under observation than drug offenders; and 1.333 times greater for drug offenders receiving rehabilitation treatment than drug offenders. Moreover, DPCCAT ex-drug offenders had the best five-year survival rates in three types of institutional treatments after 2009, with average recidivism period of 3.4 years; average recidivism period for drug offenders under observation was 3.25 years, and 3.03 years for drug offenders receiving rehabilitation treatment. The risk of drug recidivism is 1.13 times greater for drug offenders under observation, and 1.36 times greater for drug offenders receiving rehabilitation treatment than DPCCAT ex-drug offenders. As regards to the long-run trend, drug recidivism rates in Taiwan slowly declined and the risk of recidivism is relatively low for those who participated in a deferred prosecution and completed detoxification treatment.

This research provides few practical suggestions: establishes an immediate information sharing platform, sets the principle of opening and closing cases, strengthen the connections between drug offenders, social occupation and workplace awareness, individualized and unified service model, flexibility in effectiveness of implementation and counseling, reduces turnover rates in practical workers, and emphasizes on the communication mechanism between frontline service agencies and supervisory authority. In addition, other research methods and focus points were also suggested to explore more deeply in the drug offenders career development follow-up, includes “comparative studies of different rehabilitative measures,” “diversified and refined survival analysis variables,” “Delphi Method for feasible policy implementation,” “inhibits effect of probation system on recidivism,” and “individualized treatment model study.”

 

Keywords: drug prevention, ex-offender employment, drug treatment, institutional treatment, survival analysis

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