Dr. Prendergast

ISAP Researchers' Profiles

Michael Prendergast, Ph.D.

Michael Prendergast, Ph.D., is Director of the Criminal Justice Research Group at UCLA ISAP. He has directed various projects studying drug treatment strategies in the criminal justice system. He has been Principal Investigator of evaluations of treatment programs in correctional settings in California: the Forever Free Treatment Program at the California Institution for Women, the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility at Corcoran, and 15 treatment programs at other California prisons. He has also been Principal Investigator of several NIDA-funded studies: a five-year follow-up study of participants in a prison-based therapeutic community, a study of the use of vouchers within a drug court treatment program, a study of the relative effectiveness of mixed-gender and women-only community treatment, a study of the of incentives to increase retention in a residential treatment program for parolees, and an evaluation of SBIRT with jail inmates.. He was Co-Principal Investigator of the statewide evaluation of the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act (Proposition 36) and is currently Principal Investigator of the Pacific Coast Research Center of the NIDA-funded Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS). He has also conducted three meta-analyses on the effectiveness of drug abuse treatment. His research interests include treatment effectiveness, meta-analysis, treatment policy, issues in coerced treatment, and treatment for drug-abusing offenders. His work has been published in American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, American Journal of Public Health, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Journal of Drug Issues, Journal of Experimental Criminology, Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, and Prison Journal.

Education and Training

  • California Western University, San Diego, CA, B.A., History, 1968
  • University of California, Los Angeles, M.A., History, 1969
  • University of California, Los Angeles, Ph.D., History, 1978


  • Criminal justice treatment
  • Treatment effectiveness research
  • Meta-analysis

Contact Info

UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs
11075 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Selected Publications

  1. Prendergast, M. L., Hall, E. A., Grossman, J., Veliz, R., Gregorio, L., Warda, U., Van Unen, K., & Knight, C. (In print). Effectiveness of using incentives to improve parolee admission and attendance in community addiction treatment. Criminal Justice and Behavior.
  1. Welsh, W. W., Prendergast, M., Knight, K., Knudsen, H., Monico, L., Gray, J., Abdel-Salam, S., Malvini Redden, S., Link, N., Hamilton, L., Shafer, M. S. & Friedmann, P. D. (2015). Correlates of interorganizational service coordination in community corrections. Criminal Justice and Behavior, doi:10.1177/0093854815607306.
  2. Prendergast, M., Pearson, F. S., Podus, D., Hamilton, Z., & Greenwell, L. (2013). The Andrews’ principles of risk, need, and responsivity as applied in drug treatment programs: Meta-analysis of crime and drug use outcomes. Journal of Experimental Criminology. DOI: 10.1007/s11292-013-9178-z. (NIHMS475411)
  3. Prendergast, M., Evans, E., Li, L.-B., & Hall, E. Consistency in self-report of drug use frequency by high-risk offenders over a five-year interval. Prison Journal, published online August 31, 2013.  DOI: 10.1177/0032885513500616
  4. Pearson, F. S., Prendergast, M. Podus, D., Vazan, P., Greenwell, L., & Hamilton, Z. (2012). Meta-analyses of seven of NIDA’s Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 43, 1-11. (NIHMSID #333144)
  5. Prendergast, M., Messina, N., Hall, E., & Warda, U. (2011). The relative effectiveness of women-only versus mixed-gender substance abuse treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 40(4), 336-348. (PMCID: PMC3081899)
  6. Prendergast, M., Frisman, L., Sacks, J., Staton-Tindall, M., Greenwell, L., Lin, H.-J., & Cartier, J. (2011). A multi-site, randomized study of strengths-based case management with substance-abusing parolees. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 7, 225-253. (PMCID: PMC3157195)
  7. Wexler, H., & Prendergast, M. (2010). Therapeutic communities in United States prisons: Effectiveness and challenges. Therapeutic Communities, 31(2), 157-175.
  8. Prendergast, M., Huang, D., Evans, E., & Hser, Y.-I. (2010). Are there gender differences in arrest trajectories among adult drug abuse treatment participants? Journal of Drug Issues, 40(1), 7-26. (PMCID: PMC2967037)
  9. Prendergast, M, Greenwell, L, Cartier, L, Sacks, J, Frisman, J, Rodis, E, & Havens, J. (2009). Adherence to scheduled sessions in a randomized field trial of case management: The CJ-DATS Transitional Case Management Study. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 5, 273-279. (PMCID: PMC2820393)
  10. Prendergast, M., Greenwell, L., Farabee, D., & Hser, Y.-I. (2009). Influence of perceived coercion and motivation on treatment completion and re-arrest among substance-abusing offenders. Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 36(2), 159-186. (PMCID: PMC2802269)
  11. Prendergast, M. (2009). Interventions to encourage successful re-entry among drug-abusing parolees. Addiction Science and Clinical Practice, 5(1), 4-13. (PMCID: PMC2797118)
  12. Hall, E., Prendergast, M., Roll, J., & Umme, W. (2009). Reinforcing abstinence and treatment participation among offenders in a drug diversion program: Are vouchers effective? Criminal Justice and Behavior, 36(9), 935-953. (PMCID: PMC2867347)
  13. Prendergast, M., Huang, D., & Hser, Y.-I. (2008). Patterns of crime and drug use trajectories in relation to treatment initiation and five-year outcomes: An application of growth mixture modeling across three datasets. Evaluation Review, 32(1), 59-82. (PMCID: PMC3430469)
  14. Frisman, L., Prendergast, M., Lin, H.-J., Rodis, E., & Greenwell, L. (2008). Applying classification and regression tree analysis to identify prisoners with high HIV risk behaviors. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 40(4). (PMCID: PMC3759152)

Last updated - 02/03/2016

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2016 ISAP Publications
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