Continuing Care App for Probationers and Parolees


COG Analytics




Substance Use Disorders


Other: Treatment As Usual
Device: digital therapeutic for substance use disorders

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


This project extends successful Phase I work that developed a Continuing Care mobile application (app) for probationers and parolees with SUDs who are at elevated risk of relapse, re-arrest, and incarceration. This Phase II STTR project will finalize app development and evaluate its efficacy in a randomized controlled trial. The project has high public health significance due to its potential to provide an accessible recovery support tool for individuals on probation or parole that could improve their substance use disorder treatment outcomes.

Full description

Substance use disorders (SUDs) continue to be one of the most serious public health problems in the US. Studies have consistently documented a substantially higher prevalence of SUDs among adults under criminal justice supervision in the community (i.e., probation or parole) as compared to the general population. There is growing recognition that addiction is a chronic health condition, and individuals with SUDs typically cycle through multiple periods of treatment, abstinence, and relapse over several years to achieve and maintain recovery. Studies show that continuing care interventions can provide ongoing support or extend primary treatment gains with respect to reducing substance use, relapse, and criminal activity. Recent diffusion of Internet and smartphone technologies among disadvantaged populations now offers unprecedented opportunities for increasing access to quality continuing care interventions as well as chronic disease self-management tools. Probationers and parolees at high risk for drug abuse relapse and involvement in health compromising behaviors are an important population that stands to benefit from continuing care technologies. However, to date, no such technologies exist that are specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of this high-risk population.

Building on our team's extensive experience in the fields of criminology and substance use, we propose to complete the development of a Continuing Care mobile application (app) and conduct a randomized controlled trial to assess efficacy among clients on probation or parole who are enrolled in outpatient substance use treatment. The app is designed to meet the recovery and personal support needs of probationers and parolees with SUDs who are at elevated risk of relapse, re-arrest, and incarceration. It is guided by the principles of the transtheoretical model of behavior change and app content is derived from the Your Own Reintegration System (YOURS) program, an empirically-supported16 intervention that focuses on substance use recovery, reducing criminal thinking and behavior, and managing and building support systems. If proven to be efficacious, the app could be deployed across the national network of outpatient treatment providers, and be highly significant in its direct impact on public health.


100 patients




18 to 90 years old


Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Age 18 or older
  • Currently on community supervision (probation or parole) or justice-involvement in the past 12 months
  • Currently a client receiving outpatient substance use treatment
  • Willing to receive supplemental treatment services through a mobile app
  • Willing to provide informed consent and complete research assessments

Exclusion criteria

  • Severe psychiatric problems (e.g., untreated psychosis, untreated bipolar disorder)
  • Suicidality within the past 6-months, as determined by clinical staff, which could make participation in a novel treatment hazardous

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


None (Open label)

100 participants in 2 patient groups

Continuing Care App
Experimental group
Participants will receive the Continuing Care app, in addition to usual care at the treatment program (12-weeks of weekly group cognitive behavioral therapy).
Device: digital therapeutic for substance use disorders
Treatment As Usual
Active Comparator group
Participants will only receive 12-weeks of weekly group cognitive behavioral therapy.
Other: Treatment As Usual

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Michael S Gordon, D.P.A.; Steven B Carswell, Ph.D.

Data sourced from

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