Program Type: Treatment
Program Location: New York
Lead Agency: Rensselaer County Probation Department
Partners: Hudson Mohawk Recovery Center
The Issue: Treatment
Program Target Population: Hardcore Offenders
Repeat Offenders

Program Description:

The Probation Alcohol Treatment (PAT) program in Rensselaer County was formed in 1983, modeled after a similar program in Suffolk County, after the state passed legislation granting funds for this purpose. The PAT program aims to increase treatment attendance and effectiveness by combining the alcoholism treatment delivered by the Hudson Mohawk Recovery Center to repeat, high risk DWI offenders with close supervision by probation officers.

The PAT program targets repeat offenders at their third offense. These offenders are first screened for alcohol abuse/addiction issues as well recidivism risk.  Once assessed, they are sent to the mandatory program at the outpatient clinic to address their addiction/abuse problems. Offenders must maintain sobriety during the PAT program, usually lasting 52 weeks. They attend weekly group meetings and monthly individual meetings co-facilitated by the probation officer and an alcohol counselor, as well as submit to random home visits and frequent drug screening by their probation officer. Offenders are also encouraged to participate in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or join a church community for support.


Program Effectiveness:

The PAT Program has been proven to reduce DWI arrests by more than a third and other criminal arrests by 60 percent. In the ten years of participating in the program, program participants averaged 1.24 DWI arrests per person whereas DWI offenders who underwent only probation averaged 2.75 arrests per person.

Program Cost Effectiveness:

  • Overhead costs to staff the program are covered by offenders’ fees.
  • Treatment is covered by offenders’ health insurance.

Source of Funding:

  • State funding

 Factors to Consider When Replicating the Program:

  • Overall challenge of collaborating among separate agencies
  • Community acceptance of treatment rather than incarceration

Formal Evaluation(s) of Program:
Combination of Alcohol Treatment and Probation Shown to Reduce Criminal Behavior by Repeat DWI Offenders

For more information on this program, please contact:
Laura Bauer