Incentives for Recovery in Treatment and in the Criminal Justice System

Room – Main Ball Room February 21st, 2023 9:30 am, Hyatt Regency Centre, Calgary Alberta.

Speaker – Dr. Keith Humphreys

Recovery Capital Conference

Session Description

Addiction is sometimes viewed as involving a complete loss of self-control, but even people with serious addictions will often change their behavior in response to predictable consequences. This presentation explores how this insight can be applied in voluntary treatment settings through the application of “contingency management” interventions, in which there are transparent, immediate, rewards for behavior change. The presentation then turns to how the same principles can be applied in the criminal justice system, focusing particularly on community supervision programs that use swift, certain, and fair consequences to reduce substance use, crime, and imprisonment. Finally, the presentation discusses how in long-term recovery, building a natural environment in which recovery-promoting behaviors are rewarded helps people avoid relapse.

Learning Objectives

  • To understand the nature and evidence behind contingency management interventions in treatment
  • To learn about swift, certain, and fair community supervision programs in the criminal justice system
  • To understand the interplay between long-term support in the environment and recovery


  • Higgins, S.T., & Petry, N. M. (1999). Contingency management: Incentives for sobriety. Alcohol Research and Health, 23, 121-127.
  • Kilmer, B., Caulkins, J., DuPont, R.L., & Humphreys, K. (2019). Reducing substance use in criminal justice populations. In S.C. Miller, D.A. Fiellin, R.N. Rosenthal, R., & R. Saitz (Eds.), Principles of Addiction Medicine (6th edition, pp. 1768-1774). Washington, D.C.: American Society of Addiction Medicine.
  • Kleiman, M. (2010) When Brute Force Fails. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.


Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He is also a Senior Research Career Scientist at the VA Health Services Research Center in Palo Alto and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London. His research addresses the prevention and treatment of addictive disorders, the formation of public policy and the extent to which subjects in medical research differ from patients seen in everyday clinical practice.

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Recovery Capital Summit Speakers

a $600 CACCF Value