29 Crim. Just. & Behavior 3 (2002)

handle is hein.journals/crmjusbhv29 and id is 1 raw text is: 


A mong substance abuse researchers,   the phrase coerced clients do
     as well as or better than voluntary clients has achieved near-
hallowed status. Some of its popularity can probably be attributed to
the psychological appeal of such a counterintuitive finding. But there
is more to it than that. A review of the literature does indeed suggest
that so-called coerced clients do better than those who enter treatment
of their own accord. Still, over the past 10 years, I have been struck by
the apparent discrepancies between the coerced treatment research lit-
erature and the anecdotal reports from front-line prison-based coun-
seling staff. These counselors commonly cite the presence of involun-
tary clients as posing the greatest threat to the overall effectiveness of
their programs. And my attempts to assure them that the literature says
otherwise are of little consolation.
   But closer scrutiny of the literature suggests that our conclusions
regarding coerced treatment may  be premature.  In a review of 11
coerced treatment studies conducted over the past 20 years, my col-
leagues and I found that, although the results were positive overall, the
results were far from unequivocal, with 5 studies reporting that coerced
clients did better, 4 studies reporting no difference, and 2 studies
reporting that the coerced clients did worse. But of even greater inter-
est than the findings themselves were the measures employed to pro-
duce them:  In the 11 coerced treatment studies we reviewed, none
directly assessed the motivation of the clients (Farabee, Prendergast,
& Anglin, 1998). In most cases, involuntary or coerced status of
clients was inferred from criminal justice status at intake.
   Gaining a better understanding of the nature of coercion is more
than just an isolated academic pursuit. The use of coercion pervades
most  correctional treatment efforts, although as seen in this issue,
actual perceptions of coercion can vary considerably. These practices
are based on a fragmented literature in which coercion is assumed and
terms such as mandated,  compulsory, involuntary, and coerced are

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR, Vol. 29 No. 1, February 2002 3-4
 2002 American Association for Correctional Psychology

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