Using Technology-Based Strategies to Change Drug-Related Attitudes and First-Time Offenders

Stevenson, Ben; Roblyer, M. D.
December 2006
Journal of Correctional Education;Dec2006, Vol. 57 Issue 4, p327
Academic Journal
Recognizing that a solid pre-trial drug intervention program is a vital first step in educating first-time offenders about the seriousness of drug abuse and criminal behavior, staff at the Intervention Program for Substance Abusers in Montgomery County, Maryland's Department of Correction and Rehabilitation decided that better strategies were needed to impress upon the defendants the link between drug/alcohol abuse and their illegal behaviors. Video-based simulation techniques and other technology-based strategies were designed to increase the emotional impact and engagement of the educational programs for first-time offenders in the intervention program. These strategies were implemented and evaluated within a series of four drug and alcohol classes. Staff members created assessment instruments and gathered data to determine the impact of these strategies on three program objectives. While not all objectives were successfully achieved, the staff found that the technology-based methods led to improved strategies for disseminating information for a variety of learning styles, increased class participation, and better listening skills and behavior during classes. Recommendations are given for future development, implementation, and evaluation strategies to further enhance results.


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