Community contingencies in the rehabilitation of drink driving offenders
Sheehan, Mary (2002) Community contingencies in the rehabilitation of drink driving offenders. In 37th Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society, 27 September - 10 October, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.
A core element in the control of drink driving is enabling offenders to separate drinking and driving. This paper will argue that successful rehabilitation requires treatment programs that include behaviour change strategies directed at both the personal and the community level. In this context the term "community" is relevant to the more broadly defined society in which drink driving occurs and to the personally defined community of friends, relatives and work colleagues who form the "experienced community" in which drink driving occurs. This paper presents the data and outcome findings from the evaluation of a large rehabilitation program that used cognitive behavioural strategies linked explicitly with community contingencies as the key intervention strategies. The program conducted over three years and involving over 800 participants produced significant reductions in recidivism in subsequent offending by a more severe, previously high recidivist group. It had no significant impact on first time offenders who completed it. This counter-intuitive finding of improved outcomes with the more established offender replicates recent international studies and is discussed as a possible result of increased effectiveness of community contingencies in the high risk-group.
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