Narconon Releases Early Study of Delaware Prison Program, Demonstrating Crime Reduction Consistent with More Recent Narconon Results

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70 - 84% of Delaware inmates who completed one or more Narconon rehab courses had no re-arrest 6 months to 1 year after release from prison, compared to 36% of controls.

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The inmate students loved the communication and learning courses. They were telling me that they were coming to feel more in present time instead of foggy and dispersed, better able to look and see and perceive.

As part of its recent release of a compilation of 40 years of studies of 23 Narconon programs, Narconon International has just published the March 1975 Delaware Correctional Center Case Study. This early study reinforces the findings of the 1972-2009 Narconon compilation that a high majority of its program graduates stay out of trouble, as measured most objectively by non-recidivism to prison or non-rearrest.

78% of the 242 inmates who attended Narconon Delaware courses had serious criminal histories, serving from 2 to more than 10 year sentences. The case study reports that 50% of the Narconon group had been convicted of robbery, burglary, or theft, and a further 14% of homicide or assault. Quoting from the Delaware case study Abstract: "Findings here indicate that while the recidivism rate for the prison can be estimated at around 65%, of those inmates who participated in the Narconon program 70% remained free of further involvement with the judicial system (minimum of six months). There is also a strong indication that the number of courses taken influences the recidivist rate."

The Delaware report parallels findings presented in the long-term Narconon study compilation which states that post-program crime-free rates have been consistently high, from 63.5% of criminally offending juveniles crime-free two years post-Narconon (Utah, 2005) up to 97.1% crime-free for adult graduates of Narconon Arrowhead, 6 months post-program (2007). These results compare favorably to U.S. rates of recidivism, not just recently but across the last 4 decades that Narconon has been delivering. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that "In a fifteen state study, over two thirds of released prisoners were rearrested within three years." The National Criminal Justice Reference Service reports that in 1970 the U.S. recidivism rate was 51.4%.

Narconon International recently interviewed Barry Jaye who was the director of the Narconon rehabilitation program in Delaware in 1973, as well as being the Director of Narconon U.S. at that time. He says that Narconon's was the first state funded program, twenty-two thousand dollars for delivery to adults at the maximum security prison. "I practically lived there for several months in 1973," Jaye says, "staying at a little hotel, eating and working with the prisoners most of the day. The inmate students loved the communication and learning courses. They were telling me that they were coming to feel more in present time instead of foggy and dispersed, better able to look and see and perceive." Going to Narconon course each day became, he says, the main part of their life, and other inmates admired those doing it, even when they couldn't get permission to attend the Narconon courses.

"I didn't have to fear for anything," Jaye recalls, "even though it was a maximum security prison. These guys wouldn't let anybody get rough with me. You wouldn't believe it, unless you'd been there, how much they appreciated the program and being given attention."

The Narconon course materials were "translated," Jaye says, "from original materials by L. Ron Hubbard, on which the program was based, into simpler language, what an inmate could understand, many of them not being able to read well."

The Delaware Correctional Center program received complimentary coverage in local press. "Narconon is a drug program that is working" runs the title of an April 1973 Morning News article of Wilmington, Delaware. "At first," writes the author, Bill Franks, "not only prison administration but even prisoners were suspicious that Narconon was 'just another one of those gimmicks to help drug addicts or men who have drug problems. Today, Narconon is regarded by officials of the State Drug Abuse Division as one of the best anti-drug programs in the state." The author visited the program inside and wrote later in the article, "As I witnessed the group's activities, I was impressed with the sincerity of the men, and I was amazed when each one publicly testified to his 'wins' of the day." The article concludes that "Dr. William H. Duncan, former director of the state's drug abuse office, testified it is one of the most meaningful programs in Delaware's effort to fight drug abuse." This last statement is confirmed by a 23 February 1973 letter to Narconon from Dr. Duncan and reaffirmed later by a 23 October, 1975 letter from Francis J. Herron, Work Education Release State Supervisor, who wrote, "This letter is to inform you our deep regard for the Narconon Program. We consider it an integral part of the Bureau of Adult Corrections."

Narconon services expanded in 1974 into juvenile corrections. A 1974 letter from Anthony W. Salerno, Acting Director of the Delaware Division of Juvenile Corrections, states, "There are a number of inmates whom I have known for a long time who became deeply involved in the Narconon program and who, without doubt, exhibited a significant degree of change," concluding later, "I have authorized the program to become part of one of our youth institutions." By October, 1975 the program had demonstrated strong enough results inside prison that Donald R. Davis, Corrections Asst. Superintendent of Treatment, wrote in a letter, "...the gains that are being made by the Narconon program and those that will be made as it continues far outweigh the small cost of the program."

Narconon later began delivering community services outside of prison, as attested by a 17 November, 1974 Wilmington Evening Journal article, "Ex-Junkie Helps Addicts," which interviews Jerry Riggin, an ex-Marine graduate of the Delaware Correctional Center program. Riggin had joined the Marines before graduating high school. In Okinawa, he got hooked on heroin and was dismissed from the Corps. Addiction lead him into crime and multiple arrests. In prison, he found the Narconon program. "I realized I was going to have to change," the article quotes Riggin. Not minimizing his own crime, Riggin said that his jail experience made him realize that "really, a small percentage of prisoners are actually criminals. Many are there because of drugs or the burglaries and other crimes they've committed to get drugs...With a little training and rehabilitation, some of these people could be perfectly fine individuals" he concluded. Riggin received additional training and joined Narconon staff as the program began to deliver educational courses outside in Wilmington community centers. "Today," the article concludes, "Jerry Riggin is a changed man - in appearance, in approach to life and in personality. He is well-dressed, clear-eyed, and has confidence in himself and in Narconon." Maybe he had met Barry Jaye while he was there, who knows?

Although Narconon continued delivering services inside prisons through the 70s, by the 80's it began to concentrate on free standing drug rehabilitation centers outside of prison, of which the international network now has 13 across the U.S. and 51 worldwide.

For more information on the Narconon program, please visit Or if you need help for a friend or loved one, info(at)narconon(dot)org.

Clark Carr
Narconon International

Source References:

Narconon Delaware Correctional Center Case Study
40 Years of Narconon Outcome Evidence

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Clark Carr
Narconon International
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