Criminal Justice Populations Projects
- Project BRITE: Behavioral Reinforcement to Increase Treatment Engagement
- Effectiveness of Residential vs. Intensive Outpatient Prison-Based Treatment
- A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Second Chance Program for Ex-Inmates
- Evaluation of the P3BENEFITS Program
- Utility of the COMPAS in Assessing Needs and Predicting Recidivism
- Evaluation of Female Offender Treatment and Employment Program (FOTEP)
- Mental Health Characteristics and Service Utilization of Substance-Abusing Offenders in California
- Employment and Social Reintegration
- Enhancing Substance Abuse Treatment Services for Women Offenders
- Substance Abuse Treatment Facility: Cohort Evaluation and Focused Studies
- Computerized Psychosocial Treatment for Offenders with Substance Use Disorders
- Gender-Responsive Treatment for Women Offenders
- Pacific Coast Research Center of CJ-DATS2
- Using Incentives to Improve Parolee Participation and Retention in Community Treatment
- Exploring Proposition 36 as a Turning Point in Life Course Drug-Use Trajectories
- Evaluation of the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000
William Burdon, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
Michael L. Prendergast, Ph.D. (email@example.com),
Project BRITE will (1) test the impact of a behavioral reinforcement intervention on inmate engagement in prison-based substance abuse treatment (thereby improving both psychosocial functioning over the course of treatment and post-release outcomes [e.g., decreased drug use and reincarceration]), and (2) assess the process by which this evidence-based innovation is implemented and sustained within prison-based treatment programs, within the context of Diffusion of Innovations theory. This theory explains the process by which innovations are communicated to and adopted by individuals within a social system or organization over a period of time. Male and female inmates (N = 260) receiving referrals to intensive outpatient treatment will be randomly assigned to one of two types of programs (i.e., conditions): behavioral reinforcement (BR) or standard treatment (ST). Inmates assigned to the BR programs will receive positive behavioral reinforcement contingent upon their attendance and participation in regularly scheduled program activities. Reinforcement will be in the form of Motivational Incentive (MI) points that can be redeemed for commissary items and/or privileges or donated to a “community charity” (a measure of altruism). Subjects will be interviewed at baseline and upon discharge from the programs. Records-based data will be collected on aftercare participation, drug use, and reincarceration 9 months following release from prison. This project is being conducted in collaboration with the Washington State Department of Corrections and CiviGenics, Inc.
Project BRITE was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Grant 1 R01 DA017856-01 (July 2005 through June 2009).
William Burdon, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The purpose of this 5-year study is to (1) assess the differential clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of long-term residential (LTR) treatment versus intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment in a prison-based treatment setting and (2) determine whether one treatment modality is more effective than the other for drug-involved offenders matched to the appropriate modality (e.g., based on risk level and/or substance abuse severity). Eight hundred inmates (600 males and 200 females) who have received referrals to enter prison-based substance abuse treatment will be randomly assigned to either LTR or IOP treatment. Inmates who are randomly assigned to LTR treatment will begin treatment no later than 9 months prior to their scheduled release date. Inmates who are randomly assigned to IOP treatment will begin treatment approximately 3 months prior to their scheduled release from prison. Treatment for both groups will continue until they are released from prison. Study participants will be assessed in face-to-face interviews at baseline and immediately prior to discharge from the treatment programs and release from prison. Twelve-month post-release follow-up interviews will also be conducted. Data on community treatment participation (e.g., modality, intensity, and duration of treatment) will be obtained directly from the community provider. In addition, the Washington State Department of Corrections (WSDOC) will provide records-based data on post-release treatment participation, illicit drug use (i.e., results of drug tests), and return-to-custody for all individuals who receive in-custody IOP and LTR treatment. This project will be conducted in collaboration with the Washington State Department of Corrections (WSDOC) and CiviGenics, Inc., the sole provider of treatment services for inmates in the Washington State prison system.
Effectiveness of Residential vs. Intensive Outpatient Prison-Based Treatment was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Grant 1 R01 DA020621 (September 2006 to May 2011).
A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Second Chance Program for Ex-Inmates
David Farabee, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (email@example.com)
Sheldon Zhang, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Benjamin Wright, M.S., Project Director
The major goal of this project is to conduct an outcome evaluation and cost analysis of the Second Chance Reentry Program in San Diego, California. Over the decades, various offender re-entry efforts have been tried and evaluated, but few of these evaluation efforts have relied on rigorous study designs. In this study, we intend to subject this nationally recognized reentry program to a randomized clinical trial design in order to examine its effectiveness. Outcomes will be tracked for 12 months and include drug use, employment, and recidivism.
A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Second Chance Program for Ex-Inmates was funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation, grant #: 2008-7752, from September 2008 to September 2011.
The purpose of this evaluation is to determine the effectiveness of CDCR’s Pre-Parole Process (P3) Benefits Program. The P3 program allows for the pre-release identification of inmates with special needs or health issues that entitle them to state or federal benefits. Social workers then complete the benefits paperwork on the inmates’ behalf so that they are able to receive their entitled benefits immediately upon release. This 4-year study provides evidence of the effectiveness of the P3 Benefits Program with regard to its ability to improve parolee outcomes, including lowered recidivism. In addition, Dr. Sheldon Zhang’s team at San Diego State University (SDSU) Research Foundation will conduct a cost analysis of the program.
Evaluation of the P3BENEFITS Program was funded by the State of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation contract number C08.145, from November 2008 to October 2012.
The Correctional Offender Management and Profiling Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS) is a computerized database and analysis system for criminal justice practitioners to make decisions regarding the placement, supervision and case-management of offenders in community and secure settings. This instrument was recently adopted by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to assess treatment needs and recidivism risk of its inmates. Although a pilot study has shown encouraging results on the psychometric properties of the instrument (Brennan, T. W. Dieterich, & W. Oliver. 2006. California Department of Corrections, Parole and Community Services Division: COMPAS Pilot Psychometric Report. Traverse, MI: Northpointe Institute for Public Management. http://www.northpointeinc.com/), one crucial property of the COMPAS was not adequately addressed in the COMPAS pilot study—predictive validity. The current study was undertaken to improve upon these preliminary analyses by employing a prospective design with a three-year follow-up period to assess the ability of the COMPAS with regard to predicting various types of recidivism (e.g., general, violent, failure to comply with parole conditions) and, if possible, to modify the scale to reduce the number of items while increasing its predictive validity.
Utility of the COMPAS in Assessing Needs and Predicting Recidivism was funded by the State of California, California Department of Corrections, Grant C06.417 (January 2007 to December 2009).
The goal of the FOTEP project is to enable the successful reintegration of women parolees into the community, particularly in regard to reducing criminal behavior, substance use, and welfare dependence, and to strengthen family relationships and employment skills. The FOTEP evaluation study consisted of a quasi-experimental study with a sample of FOTEP participants (n = 343) and a Comparison group of eligible, but non-participating, female parolees (n = 157). All participants initially participated in in-prison substance abuse treatment; about two thirds of the sample then transferred to community-based treatment in FOTEP, while the others were paroled to the community and referred to treatment as usual. A 12-month follow-up interview was conducted with about 90% of the study sample from 2001-2003 and outcomes were assessed regarding their drug use, criminal behavior, employment, parental status, and psychosocial functioning. Recidivism (i.e., return-to-prison) has also been analyzed for up to 48 months following parole using administrative data. Analyses showed that longer time in FOTEP treatment (at least 150 days) reduced the odds of a return to prison by about half, and that individuals who completed FOTEP treatment were significantly less likely to return to prison as compared with individuals in the Comparison group. In addition, surveys conducted with in-prison treatment participants and program staff and focus groups with FOTEP participants have provided information for ongoing project evaluation.
Evaluation of Female Offender Treatment and Employment Program (FOTEP) was funded by the State of California, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Addiction and Recovery Services, Contracts C03.052 and C06.229 (July 2003 through June 2009).
Mental Health Characteristics and Service Utilization of
Substance-Abusing Offenders in California
Christine E. Grella, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mary-Lynn Brecht, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
This study compares participants with and without co-occurring substance use and mental disorders (COD) who were referred to substance abuse treatment through “Prop 36” in California, which allows non-violent drug offenders to go to treatment instead of prison. Administrative data on mental health diagnoses of Prop 36 participants were linked with data on their treatment participation and arrests within 12 months of their eligibility for participation. Participants with COD (N=2,526, 15.9%) and without (N=13,385; 84.1%) in 2001-02 were compared on their background characteristics, treatment participation, and criminal justice outcomes. Primary diagnoses of participants with COD were 42% mood disorder, 31% psychotic disorder, 6% anxiety disorder, 13% drug use disorder, and 9% other type of disorder. Less than one-fifth of these participants were identified with COD in the substance abuse treatment system. Among participants with COD there were higher proportions of Whites (54% vs. 49%), women (36% vs. 23%), heroin users (16% vs. 12%), homeless individuals (19% vs. 12%), and individuals not in the labor force (50% vs. 37%), and fewer Hispanics (24% vs. 30%). Analyses will examine treatment completion rates, rates of re-arrest and re-incarceration, and the relationship of mental health services utilization with longitudinal outcomes among Prop 36 participants with COD. Study findings will address implications for public policy and service delivery to individuals with COD in the criminal justice system.
Mental Health Characteristics and Service Utilization of Substance-Abusing Offenders in California was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, grant 1 R03 MH080874, from August 2008 to May 2010 (NCE through May 2011).
Among many drug offenders who are re-entering the community from incarcerated settings, becoming employed is a significant event that facilitates maintenance of drug use recovery, criminal desistance, and successful social re-integration, yet addressing employment needs among offenders is one of the most difficult tasks for the drug treatment field. To learn from community-based employment experts about what practices work best with this population, we partnered with Walden House Incorporated, a non-profit drug treatment center in California that emphasizes meeting the employment needs of persistently difficult-to-serve individuals. We plan to (1) identify strategies for improving the employment status of substance-abusing offenders released from prisons to community drug treatment, and (2) develop an employment-improvement intervention for substance-abusing offender populations to be tested with future extramural research funding.
Employment and Social Reintegration was funded by the UCLA Senate COR Program and UCLA Center for Community Partnerships, from July 2008 to December 2009.
Enhancing Substance Abuse Treatment Services for Women Offenders
Nena Messina, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (email@example.com)
Maria Zarza, Ph.D., Project Director (September 2005 to Sepember 2007)
Stacy Calhoun, M.A., Project Director (September 2007 – Present)
This 3-year study will examine Mental Health Systems, Inc.’s (MHS), readiness and capacity for practice improvement as it incorporates women-focused treatment into four MHS program sites currently serving female drug court participants. The proposed study will also include an experimental component to determine the relative effectiveness of a women-focused (WF) treatment program based on relational theory compared to the standard mixed-gender (MG) outpatient treatment program delivered to women offenders deferred from incarceration through drug court to promote positive behaviors (e.g., HIV risk reduction and substance abuse, and increased psychological functioning). The WF curriculum has been fully developed (Helping Women Recover, Covington, 1999; 2003); however, the activities outlined in this application will be the first empirical test of the curriculum that includes assessments of staff readiness and barriers to enhancing service. Specifically, 150 women participating in four MHS drug court programs in San Diego, California, will be randomly assigned to the WF or MG treatment program groups. The proposed study has the following specific aims:
- To identify and address barriers to coordinating and integrating new and appropriate WF services, including HIV prevention, for substance-dependent women offenders;
- To coordinate and integrate a theoretically based women-focused protocol into the existing MHS program curriculum;
- To develop effective fidelity measures to assess staff performance, adherence, and retention of the newly integrated curriculum;
- To pilot test the efficacy of the theoretically based, multi-faceted, WF curriculum to promote positive behaviors among women offenders compared to the impact of the standard MG program;
- To qualitatively assess women’s perceptions of their treatment experience, comparing those of women in the newly integrated WF program and those of women in the standard MG program.
Findings from the staff focus groups revealed that the facilitators were very supportive of implementing the WF focus curriculum in their drug court and showed a strong willingness to be trained in the new curriculum. However, they were concerned that they were not trained enough to deal with traumatic events that might come up in group. In particular, they were worried about “opening a can of worms” and being unable to resolve the situation before a session is finished and thereby placing the client at risk for using again. Findings indicate the need to provide the counselors with an on-site experienced clinician to help them deal personally and professionally with their daily work.
The findings from the client satisfaction survey showed that there were no differences between the two groups in their overall satisfaction with their treatment program. Both groups were very satisfied with the treatment they received. However, the women in the WF group were significantly more likely to find their groups to be helpful in their recovery process than the women in the MG group (95% vs. 84%, p < .05). The women in the WF group were also more likely to rate their program as being the best kind of program for women (81% vs. 67%, p=.08).
Enhancing Substance Abuse Treatment Services for Women Offenders was funded by Mental Health Systems, Inc., Grant 720 (R01 DA022149) (September 2005 to July 2010).
Substance Abuse Treatment Facility: Cohort Evaluation and Focused Studies
Michael Prendergast, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
David Farabee, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Jerome Cartier, M.A., Project Director
There are four main goals of this continuing evaluation of the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (SATF). The first is to conduct an additional 3-year analysis of official California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) data to determine whether subsequent cohorts of SATF parolees have declining levels of recidivism during the first 6 and 12 months of parole. The second is a qualitative study to improve aftercare attendance by focusing on substance abuse program (SAP) parolees' (N = 50) transitional issues by conducting pre-release focus groups and a series of post-release telephone interviews. Using the data from this study, UCLA will work collaboratively with the treatment provider (Walden House) to develop a brief pre-release intervention to encourage parolee participation in community treatment. The third study (N = 300) uses the Criminal Justice - Client Evaluation of Self and Treatment (CJ-CEST) and the Criminal Thinking Scale (CTS) to measure change in SAP participants over time during treatment. Data from this study (instrument scores) will be used to predict entrance to post-release community treatment, retention in community treatment, and 12-month recidivism rates. Should outcomes prove significant for certain scales on these instruments, UCLA ISAP will train treatment staff in the administration, scoring, and interpretation of the instruments. The fourth study is a randomized clinical trial to measure the impact of the Skills Training Component of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) on psychological functioning of SAP participants (DBT, N=64, control, N=57). Unfortunately, due to the California budget crisis this contract was suspended effective August 1, 2008, and all research activities ceased on that date. A final report to the CDCR was submitted on November 6, 2008, and included our preliminary findings. Analyses of SATF-SAP parolee cohorts from 2000 to 2006 indicate a continued decrease in recidivism rates for both the 6- and 12-month post-release periods over time. The decrease is most significant among those parolees who entered into, and attended, a minimum of 90 days of post-release substance abuse treatment. Because of the contract suspension, no analyses of the post-release aftercare data were conducted. However, an analysis of the pre-release focus groups indicates that the greatest perceived barriers to aftercare participation are lack of detailed information about the community treatment program to which the parolee has been, or may be, referred to, the perception that family needs outweigh the need for more treatment, and the perception that post-release aftercare, especially residential treatment, is a continuation of incarceration. Although a full analysis of the CJ-CEST data was not possible, preliminary findings indicate an association between positive trends in psychological functioning, social functioning, and treatment engagement with time in program. Results in the domain of criminal thinking are mixed. Finally, participants in the Skills Training (DBT) cohort show significant improvement (relative to the control cohort) in the following areas, Emotional Regulation, Goal-Directed Behaviors During Stress, and Access to Emotional Regulation Strategies. The DBT cohort shows near-significant results, again relative to the control cohort in the following areas, Decision Making, Distress Tolerance, and Emotional Clarity.
Substance Abuse Treatment Facility: Cohort Evaluation and Focused Studies was funded by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; Agreement C06.082 (July 1, 2006 - June 30, 2010). Contract suspended August 1, 2008, due to State of California budget constraints.
The majority of individuals in criminal justice settings across the U.S. have a critical need for science-based, psychosocial treatment that targets substance use and HIV risk behavior. National Development and Research Institutes (NDRI) has developed and demonstrated the efficacy of a computer-based, interactive, psychosocial treatment program, the Therapeutic Education System (TES), that can answer this need. This computer-based therapeutic tool allows complex interventions to be delivered with fidelity to the evidence-based model and at low cost due to its self-directed nature (e.g., minimal staff time/training needed), thus offering considerable potential for future sustainability and dissemination within criminal justice systems. The study employs random assignment of incarcerated male and female offenders with substance use disorders (N=526) to either (1) TES (N=263), or (2) Standard Care (N=263), in a multi-site trial conducted in eight prison substance abuse programs. Along with NDRI (the lead organization), the collaborating study sites are University of California Los Angeles, Temple University, and University of Kentucky.
Aim 1 is to test the comparative effectiveness of TES vs. Standard Care at 3- and 6-months post-prison discharge on measures of drug use (e.g., weeks of abstinence), HIV risk behavior (both sex-related and drug-related), and reincarceration rates using Department of Corrections records.
Aim 2 is to evaluate the cost and cost-effectiveness of TES relative to standard care.
Computerized Psychosocial Treatment for Offenders with Substance Use Disorders is funded by a subaward from the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., under grant RC2DA028967 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, from September 2009 to August 2011.
This 5-year study was designed to determine whether drug abuse treatment programs designed specifically for women offenders result in better outcomes than do mixed-gender programs. Consistent findings regarding the greater severity of women’s drug abuse, past trauma, and psychological disorders have led many researchers to advocate the use of gender-responsive treatment for women as a more appropriate and effective way to facilitate their recovery. As policymakers and treatment providers consider expanding treatment options for women offenders, it is critically important to determine whether women-only (WO) treatment programs do produce better outcomes than standard mixed-gender (MG) programs. The study involved the cooperation of community-based drug abuse treatment agencies providing Drug Court, Substance Abuse Crime and Prevention Act (SACPA), perinatal, and other outpatient treatment within Los Angeles County. The study used a quasi-experimental design with study intake into two treatment conditions (MG vs. WO) and had the following specific aims:
To evaluate the impact of WO programs on drug use, criminal activity, and social functioning (e.g., employment, education, parenting behavior) for women offenders, compared to the impact of MG programs.
To qualitatively assess women’s perceptions of their treatment experiences in the WO and MG treatment programs.
Using a propensity-score approach to balance the two groups on baseline characteristics, analysis indicated that, at 12-months following treatment entrance, women who participated in WO programs were significantly less likely to use drugs and to commit crimes than were women in MG programs, but the groups did not differ significantly on arrest and employment.
Gender-Responsive Treatment for Women Offenders was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Grant 1 R01 DA016277 (September 2004 through August 2009).
Pacific Coast Research Center of CJ-DATS2
Michael Prendergast, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (email@example.com)
Patricia Noble-Desy, M.A., Criminal Justice Co-Investigator
David Farabee, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
William Burdon, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Elizabeth Hall, Ph.D., Center Administrator
The Pacific Coast Research Center (PCRC) is part of a nationwide network of research centers involved in NIDA’s Criminal Justice – Drug Abuse Treatment Research Studies (CJ-DATS). The Pacific Coast Research Center brings together researchers from a broad array of disciplines with experience in criminal justice, drug abuse, and implementation research. The PCRC also partners with criminal justice agencies in Washington, New Mexico, Oregon, and California.
Currently, CJ-DATS focuses on the problems of implementing research-based drug treatment practices. This research concerns the organizational and systems processes involved in implementing valid, evidence-based practices to reduce drug use and drug-related recidivism for individuals in the criminal justice system. Adopting new evidence-based practices often requires substantial commitment from an organization, including evaluating the evidence supporting the new practice, determining what organizational changes are needed to adopt the new practice, hiring and training staff, and allocating time and resources to successfully implement the new clinical practice. Approaches to successfully implement and sustain research-based treatment services and practices have received little rigorous study in the context of drug abuse treatment for offenders with substance use disorders. Twelve CJ-DATS Research Centers are conducting research in three primary domains:
- Improving the implementation of evidence-based assessment processes for offenders with drug problems
- Implementing effective medication-assisted treatment for drug-involved offenders
- Implementing evidence-based interventions to improve an HIV continuum-of-care for offenders.
For more information, please visit http://www.uclapcrc.org/html/about.html.
Pacific Coast Research Center of CJ-DATS2 was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, grant 2 U01 DA16211, from April 2009 to March 2014.
In collaboration with Walden House and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, we are conducting a five-year health services research study involving a randomized test of the use of incentives to improve treatment utilization among parolees in community-based treatment. The incentives are in the form of vouchers that are redeemable for goods or services. The goals of the study are to increase the likelihood that prison treatment participants with a referral to community treatment will actually enroll in community treatment following release to parole and, once enrolled, will increase the amount of time they participate in treatment. Increased exposure to community treatment as a result of incentives is expected to result in improved long-term outcomes of parolees who have participated in prison-based and community-based treatment.
The study’s aims are to:
- Determine whether offering an incentive increases admission to community treatment.
- Determine whether providing incentives for attendance in community treatment results in greater retention.
- Determine whether providing an incentive increases the likelihood that clients will participate in HIV testing and counseling.
- Assess the long-term impact of the use of incentives on drug use, crime, and psychosocial outcomes at 12 months following the end of the intervention.
- Assess the long-term impact of treatment attendance incentives on HIV risk behaviors.
- Assess issues of acceptability, satisfaction, and sustainability of the use of incentives among staff and clients.
Using Incentives to Improve Parolee Participation and Retention in Community Treatment was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, grant 1 R01 DA025627, from August 2009 to July 2014.
Rooted in the life course theory, the idea of turning points has been used to explain and characterize major changes in drug use. This qualitative study explores whether and how California’s Proposition 36 (or Prop 36, aka the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act) served as a turning point redirecting participants’ drug use trajectories. This relatively new law offers adults convicted of nonviolent drug possession offenses the opportunity to choose drug treatment in the community in lieu of incarceration or probation without treatment. In-depth qualitative interviews are being conducted with 80 participants selected from another NIDA-supported study of outcomes among Prop 36 clients enrolled in treatment to explore if Prop 36 has served as a turning point for these individuals and describe related subjective experiences. The goal of this study is to derive theory components that may account for the underlying mechanisms and developmental processes involved in turning points within the life course of drug use and generate hypotheses to test in future research studies.
Exploring Proposition 36 as a Turning Point in Life Course Drug-Use Trajectories was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, grant 1 R03 DA025291, from May 2009 to April 2012.
Evaluation of the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000
Darren Urada, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Liz Evans, M.A., Project Director
Bradley Conner, Ph.D., Project Director(January 2008 to August 2008)
In November 2000, 61% of California voters approved Proposition 36, subsequently enacted into law as the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, or SACPA. This legislation mandated a major shift in the state’s criminal justice policy. Under SACPA, nonviolent drug possession offenders may choose to receive drug abuse treatment in the community instead of being sentenced to a term of incarceration or being placed under community supervision without treatment. ISAP conducted a statewide evaluation of SACPA to examine its implementation, costs and cost-savings, and influence on offender behavior. The evaluation examined SACPA’s effect on eligible offenders and subpopulations of eligible offenders and made recommendations for improvements. The evaluation communicates findings to state and national audiences and identifies implications for criminal justice and treatment policy. (Additional information is available at www.uclaisap.org/prop36/index.html.)Evaluation of the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000 was funded by the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, Contracts 06-00156 and 07-00152 (February 2007 to November 2007 and January 2008 to December 2010).