Criminal Justice Populations Projects (2010-2012)


A Randomized Controlled Trial of
the Second Chance Program for Ex-Inmates

David Farabee, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (dfarabee@ucla.edu)
Sheldon Zhang, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Benjamin Wright, M.S., Project Director

The major goal of this project was 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 subjected this nationally recognized reentry program to a randomized clinical trial design in order to examine its effectiveness. Outcomes were tracked for 12 months and included 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.

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An Experimental Comparison of Telepsychiatry and
Conventional Psychiatry for Mentally Ill Parolees

David Farabee, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (dfarabee@ucla.edu)
Stacy Calhoun, M.A., Project Director

Currently, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Parole Division serves over 10,000 mentally ill offenders a year through a system of parole outpatient clinics (POCs) across the state. Many of these parolees return to rural or remote counties, where psychiatric care is limited or unavailable. Recognition of this problem has led CDCR to offer psychiatric treatment via telemedicine video conferencing to a small number of its parolees, with tentative plans to expand this approach statewide. However, the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of this approach has yet to undergo a rigorous evaluation. This randomized study compares the effectiveness of telepsychiatry relative to face-to-face sessions with regard to satisfaction with treatment/therapeutic alliance, medication adherence, session attendance, psychological functioning, and recidivism among mentally ill parolees. In addition, this study includes a cost-effectiveness analysis to assess potential cost savings associated with the use of telemedicine with mentally ill parolees returning to rural or remote areas of the state.

An Experimental Comparison of Telepsychiatry and Conventional Psychiatry for Mentally Ill Parolees was funded by the National Institute of Justice, grant 2010-DJ-BX-2002, from January 2011 to September 2013.

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Computerized Psychosocial Treatment for
Offenders with Substance Use Disorders

Michael Prendergast, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (mlp@ucla.edu)

The majority of individuals in criminal justice settings across the United States have a critical need for science-based, psychosocial treatment that targets substance use and HIV risk behavior. National Development and Research Institutes (NDRI) 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 the potential for future sustainability and dissemination within criminal justice systems. This study employed 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 multisite trial conducted in eight prison substance abuse programs. Along with NDRI (the lead organization), the collaborating study sites were the University of California, Los Angeles, Temple University, and University of Kentucky.  Aim 1 was 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.  Aim 2 was to evaluate the cost and cost-effectiveness of TES relative to standard care.

Computerized Psychosocial Treatment for Offenders with Substance Use Disorders was 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 2012.

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Effectiveness of Residential vs.
Intensive Outpatient Prison-Based Treatment

William Burdon, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (wburdon@ucla.edu)

The purpose of this 5-year study was 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 was 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 received referrals to enter prison-based substance abuse treatment were randomly assigned to either LTR or IOP treatment. Inmates who were randomly assigned to LTR treatment began treatment no later than 9 months prior to their scheduled release date. Inmates who were randomly assigned to IOP treatment began treatment approximately 3 months prior to their scheduled release from prison. Treatment for both groups continued until they were released from prison. Study participants were 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 were also conducted. Data on community treatment participation (e.g., modality, intensity, and duration of treatment) were obtained directly from the community provider. In addition, the Washington State Department of Corrections (WSDOC) provided 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 received in-custody IOP and LTR treatment. This project was 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).

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Enhancing Substance Abuse Treatment
Services for Women Offenders

Nena Messina, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (nmessina@ucla.edu)
Maria Zarza, Ph.D., Project Director (September 2005 to Sepember 2007)
Stacy Calhoun, M.A., Project Director (September 2007 to 2010)

This 3-year study examined Mental Health Systems, Inc.’s (MHS), readiness and capacity for practice improvement as it incorporated women-focused treatment into four MHS program sites serving female drug-court participants. This study also included 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., reducing criminal offending and substance abuse) and improve psychological functioning. The WF curricula had been fully developed by Stephanie Covington (i.e., Helping Women Recover and Beyond Trauma); however, this was the first empirical test of the curricula in a community treatment setting.  Specifically, 150 women participating in four MHS drug court programs in San Diego, California, were randomly assigned to the WF or MG treatment program groups. The proposed study had the following specific aims:

  1. To identify and address barriers to coordinating and integrating new and appropriate WF services, including HIV prevention, for substance-dependent women offenders;
  2. To coordinate and integrate a theoretically based women-focused protocol into the existing MHS program curriculum;
  3. To develop effective fidelity measures to assess staff performance, adherence, and retention to the newly integrated curriculum;
  4. 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;
  5. To qualitatively assess women’s perceptions of their treatment experience, comparing those of  women in the newly integrated WF program with those of women in the standard MG program.

Findings

Findings from the staff focus groups revealed that the facilitators were very supportive of implementing the WF curriculum in their drug court treatment program 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.

Results from the experimental component of the study showed that the WF participants had significantly better in-treatment performance, more positive perceptions related to their treatment experience, and positive trends indicating reductions in PTSD symptomatology. Both groups improved in their self-reported psychological well-being and reported reductions in drug use (this comparison approached significance, p < .06), and arrest (a diagnosis of PTSD was the primary predictor of reductions in re-arrest, p < .04). Findings show the beneficial effects of treatment components oriented toward women’s needs. Significant questions remain, particularly around PTSD and whether these symp­toms should be targeted to improve substance use outcomes for women offenders.

Enhancing Substance Abuse Treatment Services for Women Offenders was funded by Mental Health Systems, Inc., grant 720 (R01 DA022149), from September 2005 to July 2010.

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Evaluation of Illness Management & Recovery (IMR)
Project at Substance Abuse Treatment Facility
at Corcoran State Prison

Christine E. Grella, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (cgrella@mednet.ucla.edu)
Jerry Cartier, M.A., Project Director

ISAP is conducting an initial process evaluation of the Illness, Management, and Recovery (IMR) project at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (SATF) at the California state prison at Corcoran.  The IMR project provides an integrated treatment program for male offenders with serious mental disorders and co-occurring substance use disorders.  An interdisciplinary treatment team will provide at least 10 hours of programming per week, as well as substance abuse treatment that consists of several evidence-based interventions (i.e., cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and dialectical behavioral therapy). The IMR intervention employs a range of strategies to teach participants skills to cope with and manage their symptoms as well as skills for relapse prevention.  Participants will also receive aftercare planning so that they are linked with substance abuse treatment in the community upon their parole.  The evaluation study will examine the fidelity of implementing the IMR program at the SATF, staff knowledge of and competency in the IMR core components, and the adaptations that have been made in order to deliver the IMR program within a correctional facility.  This study will also develop a plan and design for a subsequent outcome evaluation study of the IMR program.

Evaluation of Illness Management & Recovery (IMR) Project at SATF was funded by the State of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, contract 5600002110, from July 2012 to June 2014.

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Evaluation of the P3BENEFITS Program

David Farabee, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (dfarabee@ucla.edu)
Elizabeth Hall, Ph.D., Co-Investigator
Joy Yang, M.P.P., Project Director

The purpose of this evaluation was 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 assessed 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 conducted a cost analysis of the program.

Evaluation of the P3BENEFITS Program was funded by the State of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, contract C08.145, from November 2008 to October 2012.

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Evaluation of the Substance Abuse and
Crime Prevention Act of 2000

Darren Urada, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (durada@ucla.edu)
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.)

Publications stemming from this study include:

Evans, E., Longshore, D., Prendergast, M., Urada, D. (2006). Evaluation of the substance abuse and crime prevention act: client characteristics, treatment completion and re-offending three years after implementation. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs SARC Suppl. 3, 357-368.

Anglin, M.D., Urada, D., Brecht, M.L., Hawken, A., Rawson, R., & Longshore, D. (2007).  Criminal justice treatment admissions for methamphetamine use in California: A focus on proposition 36.  Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, SARC Supplement No 4, 367-381.

Evans, E., Anglin, M.D., Urada, D., & Yang, J. (2011). Promising practices for delivery of court-supervised substance abuse treatment: Perspectives from six high-performing California counties operating Proposition 36.  Evaluation and Program Planning, 34: 124-134.  PMID: 20965568.

Urada, D., Gardiner, C., & Anglin, M.D. (2011). Stakeholder consensus and circumvention in drug diversion programs: findings from California’s Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act (Proposition 36). Journal of Drug Issues, 41(1), 45-68.

Evans, E., Li, L., Urada, D., & Anglin, M.D. (2010), Comparative effectiveness of California’s drug court and Proposition 36 programs: Offender characteristics, treatment experiences, and outcomes before and after propensity score matching.  Crime & Delinquency. DOI: 10.1177/0011128710382342

Evans, E., Jaffe, A., Urada, D., & Anglin, M.D. (2011). Differential outcomes of court-supervised substance abuse treatment among California parolees and probationers. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology,  April 24. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 21518702 

Gardiner, C., Urada, D., & Anglin, M.D. (2011).  Band-Aids and Bullhorns: Why California’s drug policy is failing and what we can do to fix it. Criminal Justice Policy Review. [Epub ahead of print] DOI: 10.1177/0887403410397185

Hampton, A.S., Conner, B.T., Albert, D., Anglin, M.D., Urada, D., and Longshore, D. (2011).  Pathways to treatment retention for individuals legally coerced to substance use treatment: The interaction of hope and treatment motivation.  Drug and Alcohol Dependence 118 (2011), pp. 400-407. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.04.022

Urada, D., Rutkowski, B.A., Rawson, R.A., & Freese, T.E. (2011).  Identifying and assessing promising practices for criminal justice clients—California Substance Abuse Research Consortium (SARC) Meetings, 2010.  Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Suppl 7: 3-9.

Conner, B.T., Hampton, A., Hunter, J., & Urada, D. (2011).  Treating opioid use in California’s Proposition 36: Differential outcomes by treatment modality.  Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Suppl 7: 77-83.

Brecht, M-L & Urada, D. (2011).  Treatment outcomes for methamphetamine users: California Proposition 36 and other clients.  Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Suppl 7, 68-76.

Anglin, M.D., Nosyk, B., Jaffe, A., & Urada, D. (in press).  Offender diversion into substance use disorder treatment: The economic impact of California's Proposition 36. American Journal of Public Health.

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, from February 2007 to November 2007 and January 2008 to December 2010.

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Expert Panel for the Inmate Classification Study

David Farabee, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (dfarabee@ucla.edu)

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) inmate classification system. The expert panel assisted CDCR in identifying factors that justify restrictions on liberty while avoiding factors that could lead to unwarranted impingements on inmate rehabilitation. Analyses focused on male offenders because the research design relied on the delineation between particular housing levels that are not applicable to female offenders.

Expert Panel for the Inmate Classification Study was funded by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to the University of California, Irvine, contract 20102499, from September 2010 to December 2011.

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Exploring Proposition 36 as a
Turning Point in Life Course Drug-Use Trajectories

Cheryl Teruya, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (cteruya@ucla.edu)
Yih-Ing Hser, Ph.D., Co-Investigator

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 explored 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 were 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 to explore their related subjective experiences.  The goal of this study was 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.

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Gender-Responsive Treatment for Women Offenders

Michael Prendergast, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (mlp@ucla.edu)
Nena Messina, Ph.D., & Elizabeth Hall, Ph.D., Co-Investigators

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. This study involved the cooperation of community-based drug abuse treatment agencies providing Drug Court, Substance Abuse Crime and Prevention Act (SACPA, or Prop. 36), 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: (1) 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, and (2) 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.

For more information, please see:
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)

Gender-Responsive Treatment for Women Offenders was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, grant 1 R01 DA016277, from September 2004 through August 2010.

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Mental Health Characteristics and Service Utilization of
Substance-Abusing Offenders in California

Christine E. Grella, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (cgrella@mednet.ucla.edu)
Mary-Lynn Brecht, Ph.D., Co-Investigator

This study compared participants with and without co-occurring substance use and mental disorders (COD) who were referred to substance abuse treatment through Proposition 36 (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 mood disorder (42%), psychotic disorder (31%), anxiety disorder (6%), drug use disorder (13%), and “other type of disorder” (9%). 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%).  Offenders with COD appear to be a more severe population (e.g., not in the labor force, injection drug users, more prior substance abuse treatment episodes).  Moreover, they were more likely to be arrested in the 12 months following referral to Prop. 36 as compared with those without COD.   Individuals with the highest rate of mental health service use over time had the lowest number of arrests following referral to Prop. 36; this difference was most pronounced with regard to arrests for drug-related crimes.  Study findings suggest the need to better identify Prop. 36 participants with COD and coordinate their service use across treatment systems, as well as the need to incorporate strategies for retaining this subpopulation in services over time. 

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 (no-cost extension through May 2011).

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Pacific Coast Research Center of CJ-DATS2

Michael Prendergast, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (mlp@ucla.edu)
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 and New Mexico. 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 and health problems 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 which 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. Nine 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.

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Project BRITE:
Behavioral Reinforcement to Increase Treatment Engagement

William Burdon, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (wburdon@ucla.edu)
Michael L. Prendergast, Ph.D. (mlp@ucla.edu), Co-Investigator

Project BRITE (1) tested the impact of a behavioral reinforcement intervention on inmate engagement in prison-based substance abuse treatment, and (2) assessed the process by which this evidence-based innovation was 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 were 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 received positive behavioral reinforcement contingent upon their attendance and participation in regularly scheduled program activities. Reinforcement was in the form of Motivational Incentive (MI) points that could be redeemed for commissary items and/or privileges or donated to a “community charity” (a measure of altruism). Subjects were interviewed at baseline and upon discharge from the programs. Records-based data was collected on aftercare participation, drug use, and reincarceration 9 months following release from prison. This project was 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 2011).

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Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral
to Treatment (SBIRT) with Offenders

Michael Prendergast, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (mlp@ucla.edu)
Jerome (Jerry) Cartier, M.A., Project Director

Inmates will be recruited at two Los Angeles County Sheriff jail facilities, one for men and one for women (25% of total sample), and randomly assign them to the treatment (SBIRT) group (N = 400) or to the control (no intervention) group (N = 400). Baseline demographic data will be collected. Subjects in both groups will be screened for substance use risk using The Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) developed by the World Health Organization. Control subjects will receive only their risk score and informational materials regarding the health risks of substance use. Experimental subjects, in addition to their risk score and informational materials, will receive a brief intervention and a referral to treatment appropriate to their risk score. Twelve months after study admission, all study participants will be contacted for a follow-up interview. We will obtain records-based data on arrests and jail incarcerations over the follow-up period from the California Department of Justice and also collect subject participation in publicly funded treatment from the Substance Abuse Prevention and Control Division of the Los Angeles County Department of Health. The primary outcome measure for this study is a reduction in the use of drugs and alcohol and the secondary outcomes include participation in treatment, rearrest and incarceration, a reduction in HIV risk behaviors, and the cost benefit of SBIRT for offenders.

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) with Offenders was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, grant 1 R01 DA031879, from April 2012 to March 2016.

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Using Incentives to Improve Parolee Participation
and Retention in Community Treatment

Michael Prendergast, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (mlp@ucla.edu)
Elizabeth Hall, Ph.D., Co-Investigator

In collaboration with Walden House and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, we are conducting a 5-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 enroll in community treatment following release to parole and, once enrolled, will increase the amount of time that 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.
Last Updated:  12/06/2012

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2016 ISAP Publications
2015 ISAP Publications