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Program Profile: Opportunity to Succeed (OPTS)

Evidence Rating: No Effects - One study No Effects - One study

Date: This profile was posted on July 31, 2017

Program Summary

This program was designed to reduce relapse and criminal recidivism by providing comprehensive aftercare services to individuals convicted of felonies, with alcohol- and drug-related histories. The program is rated No Effects. There were no statistically significant program effects on rearrests, substance abuse relapse, or employment.

This program’s rating is based on evidence that includes at least one high-quality randomized controlled trial.

Program Description

Program Goals
The Opportunity to Succeed (OPTS) program was a comprehensive aftercare program designed to reduce relapse and criminal recidivism by providing services to individuals convicted of felonies and who had a history of drug and alcohol abuse.
Target Population/Eligibility
The program was initiated at five locations—Kansas City, Mo.; New York City, N.Y.; Oakland, Calif.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Tampa, Fla. The target population comprised individuals who had been convicted of felonies and who also had alcohol- and drug-related histories.
Program Components
OPTS provided five core case-management services: 1) substance use treatment, 2) employment services, 3) housing, 4) family-strengthening services, and 5) health and mental health services. Substance abuse treatment interventions ranged from 12-step programs to intensive residential treatment programs. Case managers had primary responsibility for assessing client needs and ensuring that clients were linked to the appropriate services. Case management assessment of client progress under the OPTS model consisted of 1) client contact to assess ongoing service needs, 2) communication with external service providers to verify clients’ compliance, 3) urinalysis testing, and 4) use of graduated sanctions and incentives to hold clients accountable for non-compliance.

Employment services assisted clients in locating and keeping legitimate employment. Housing support included finding and providing adequate, drug-free supportive environments such as halfway houses, group houses, and apartment-sharing. Family-strengthening services included parenting classes, family counseling, anger management, and domestic violence counseling. Health and mental health services ranged from regular checkups to specialized care to address the range of physical and mental health problems experienced by the participants.

Key Personnel

The staff at each of the three sites had a part-time coordinator, two to three full-time case managers, and an administrative assistant. Additionally, there was at least one dedicated parole officer at each site.

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
Rossman and colleagues (1999) found no statistically significant differences between the Opportunity to Succeed (OPTS) intervention and comparison groups for rearrests at the 1-year follow up. 
Substance Abuse Relapse
There was no significant difference between the OPTS intervention and comparison groups on substance abuse relapse at the 1-year follow up. 
There was no significant difference between the OPTS intervention and comparison groups on employment rates at the 1-year follow up.
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
Rossman and colleagues (1999) conducted a randomized controlled trial to measure the effectiveness of the Opportunity to Succeed (OPTS). The study was conducted at three of the original demonstration sites: St Louis, Mo.; Kansas City, Mo.; and, Tampa, Fla. The target population for all three sites were individuals who had been convicted of felonies and who had alcohol- and drug-related histories, although the methods of recruitment and selection differed by site. At all three sites, individuals convicted of violent offenses were initially excluded from participation, but selection of individuals who were convicted of violent offenses was ultimately left to the sites. Identification of potential participants and eligibility occurred either prior to release from jail or from prison treatment programs, or upon return to the community depending on each site’s need to reach the desired number of participants.
At the Tampa site, the primary target population comprised individuals who were either on probation or parole supervision released from the Hillsborough County Jail Substance Abuse Program. The target population was then expanded partway through the study, due to the low numbers of participants, to include probationers and parolees from 1) Drug Abuse Comprehensive Coordinating Office’s (DACCO) residential drug treatment facilities, or 2) the Crossroads facilities for men and women.
The Kansas City and St. Louis sites targeted probationers and parolees from the Missouri state prison system incarcerated in Institutional Treatment Centers (ITCs), specifically, the Farmington ITC. St. Louis expanded its target population to include the Cramer facility, which included women. Kansas City expanded its sample to include the St. Joseph’s ITC, which was closer than Farmington.
Overall, the 343 study participants were 85 percent male, and approximately 75 percent were black. There were 95 participants at the Tampa site, 159 at the St. Louis site, and 89 at the Kansas City site. The treatment group consisted of 175 participants, and the comparison group included 168 participants. Participants were randomly assigned by the researchers to the treatment or comparison group. The treatment group received the five case-management core services offered by the OPTS program. The comparison group received none of the enhanced core services of the OPTS program.
Data for recidivism was gathered through official requests from the central records of the Missouri Department of Probation and Parole in Kansas City for both Missouri sites. Recidivism data for the Tampa participants was available from the Department of Corrections central office in Tallahassee and the Tampa Central Field Office. Substance use relapse and urinalysis testing was conducted by offsite laboratories. Follow-up interviews were conducted roughly 1 year after individuals began participating in the intervention or, for comparison group participants, 1 year after they began their routine probation/parole sentences.
Simple linear regression modeling was used to determine the relationship between outcome behaviors and the main effects of substance use, crime, and employment. Specifically, ordinary least squares (OLS) was used to estimate the interval-level dependent measures, while OLS and logistic regression were used to estimate the dichotomous dependent measures.
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There is no cost information available for this program.
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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1
Rossman, Shelli, Sanjeev Sridharan, Caterina Gouvis, Janeen Buck, and Elaine Morley. 1999. Impact of the Opportunity to Succeed Aftercare Program for Substance-Abusing Felons: Comprehensive Final Report. Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute.

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Additional References

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Rossman, Shelli, Sanjeev Sridharan, and Janeen Buck. 1998. “The Impact of the Opportunity to Succeed Program on Employment Success.” National Institute of Justice Journal 23: 14–20.

Rossman, Shelli, and Caterina Roman. 2003. “Case-Managed Reentry and Employment: Lessons from the Opportunity to Succeed Program.” Justice Research and Policy 5(2): 75–100.

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Related Practices

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Following are practices that are related to this program:

Adult Reentry Programs
This practice involves correctional programs that focus on the transition of individuals from prison into the community. Reentry programs involve treatment or services that have been initiated while the individual is in custody and a follow-up component after the individual is released. The practice is rated Promising for reducing recidivism.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Promising - One Meta-Analysis Crime & Delinquency - Multiple crime/offense types
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Program Snapshot

Age: 18+

Gender: Both

Race/Ethnicity: Black, Other

Geography: Urban

Setting (Delivery): Other Community Setting

Program Type: Alcohol and Drug Therapy/Treatment, Aftercare/Reentry, Wraparound/Case Management

Targeted Population: Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Offenders

Current Program Status: Not Active

Listed by Other Directories: National Reentry Resource Center