Criminal Justice (2012-2014)


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.

Publications from this study are:

Farabee, D. Zhang, S.X., & Wright, B. (2012).  Managing an on-the-spot lottery in re-entry services. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 8,241–253.

Farabee, D., Zhang, S.X., & Wright, B.  (2014). An Experimental Evaluation of a Nationally Recognized Employment-Focused Offender Reentry Program. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 1-14.

Wright, B., Zhang, S.X., & Farabee, D. (2014).  Prisoner reentry research from 2000-2010: Results of a narrative review. Criminal Justice Review, 39(1), 37-57.

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 2012.

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.

The following are publications from this project:

Chaple, M., Sacks, S., McKendrick, K., Marsch, L.., Belenko, S., Leukefeld, C., Prendergast, M., & French, M. (2014). Feasibility of a computerized intervention for offenders with substance use disorders: A research note. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 10(1), 105-127.

Chaple, M., Sacks, S., McKendrick, K., Marsch, L., Belenko, S., Leukefeld, C., Prendergast, M., & French, M. (In press.) A comparative study of the Therapeutic Education System (TES) for incarcerated substance abusing offenders. Prison Journal.

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.

Depot Pharmacotherapies for Opioid-Dependent Offenders:
Outcomes and Costs

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

The aim of this 4-year trial is to assess the clinical utility, effectiveness, and cost implications of treatment for incarcerated offenders (N=150) with opioid use disorders who, before being released to the community, are randomly assigned to one of three treatment conditions: (1) a depot formulation of naltrexone (Vivitrol®) only (VI),  (2) a patient navigation (PN) procedure plus Vivitrol (PNV), and (3) a drug education procedure (DE).  Before release from jail, participants in the VI and PNV conditions will receive their first Vivitrol injection, those in the PNV condition also will meet with a Patient Navigator, and will then be scheduled for medication management sessions twice monthly for months 1-3, monthly medication management sessions for months 4-6, with monthly injections for 6 months post-release.   Participants in the PNV condition will meet with a PN who will provide behavioral assistance to overcome possible barriers to community outpatient treatment and will be provided with a schedule of community treatment programs and other resources to address social and financial needs. Participants in the DE condition will receive education related to opiate use and overdose.  Follow-up data collection will occur at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months post release.

Depot Pharmacotherapies for Opioid-Dependent Offenders: Outcomes and Costs was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, grant 3 U01 DA034743-04, from June 2013 to May 2017.

Evaluation of Horizon’s Integrated AODA Treatment/HIV Services for
Justice-Involved Women

Nena Messina, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
(nmessina@ucla.edu)
 Kira Jeter, M.P.H., Project Director

The purpose of this SAMHSA-funded project was to expand Community Advocates - Horizons Campus’ program to increase access to integrated outpatient alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) treatment and HIV services for a minimum of 600 justice-involved women, who are less likely to enter treatment through formal systems. Objectives were to: (1) increase the number of women who participate in integrated outpatient AODA/HIV services from 25 to 125 women per year; (2) enhance Community Advocates-Horizons Campus’ program with research-based AODA/HIV curricula that engaged hard-to-reach women, their children, and their partners; and (3) increase the number of women and partners who receive rapid HIV testing from 90 to 200 per year. ISAP conducted the evaluation, which (1) included process and outcome components to monitor the implementation of the planned intervention and (2) measured observed changes in participants from before to after their participation in the project in the following domains of functioning: (a) alcohol and drug use; (b) parenting behaviors and family functioning; (c) quality of life and social functioning; (d) criminal behavior and legal status; (e) mental health and physical health status; (f) HIV/AIDS risk reduction behaviors; and (g) treatment and services received. The program worked with parole and probation departments in the Milwaukee area to recruit participants.  Horizons’ has been successful in completing follow-up interviews. Once engaged, participants continued to stay well connected to the staff and/or services offered by the program.

Evaluation of Community Advocates - Horizons Campus Integrated AODA Treatment/HIV Services for Justice-Involved Women was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, grant TI18592 to Community Advocates-Horizons Campus, from October 2007 to September 2012.

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) was 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 brought together researchers from a broad array of disciplines with experience in criminal justice, drug abuse, and implementation research. The PCRC also partnered with criminal justice agencies in Washington and New Mexico. CJ-DATS focused on the problems of implementing research-based drug treatment practices. This research concerned 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 conducted research in three primary domains:

  • Improving the implementation of evidence-based assessment and case planning 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.

Selected papers from the studies are listed below; other papers are in preparation. For more information, please visit http://www.uclapcrc.org/.

Belenko, S., Hiller, M., Visher, C., Copenhaver, M., O'Connell, D., Burdon, W., Pankow, J., Clarke, J. & Oser, C. (2013). Policies and practices in the delivery of HIV services in correctional agencies and facilities: Results from a multi-site survey. Journal of Correctional Health Care, 19(4), 293-310.

Belenko, S., Visher, C., Copenhaver, M., Hiller, M., Melnick, G., O’Connell, D., Pearson, F., Fletcher, B., & the HIV-STIC Workgroup of CJDATS. (2013). A cluster randomized trial of utilizing a local change team approach to improve the delivery of HIV services in correctional settings: Study protocol. Health & Justice, 1:8.

Ducharme, L. J., Chandler, R. K., & Wiley, T. R. A. (2013). Implementing drug abuse treatment services in criminal justice settings: Introduction to the CJ-DATS study protocol series. Health & Justice, 1:5.

Friedmann, P. D., Ducharme, L. J., Welsh, W., Frisman, L., Knight, K., Kinlock, T., Mitchell, S. G., Hall, E., Urbine, T., Gordon, M., Abdel-Salam, S., O’Connell, D., Albizu-Garcia, C., Knudsen, H., Duval, J., Fenster, J., Pankow, J., & the CJDATS MATICCE Workgroup. (2013). A cluster randomized trial of an organizational linkage intervention for offenders with substance use disorders: Study protocol. Health & Justice, 1:6.

Friedmann, P. D., Hoskinson, R., Gordon, M., Schwartz, R., Kinlock, T., Knight, K., Flynn, P. M., Welsh, W. N., Stein, L. A. R., Sacks, S., O’Connell, D.J., Knudsen, H. K., Shafer, M. S., Hall, E., Frisman, L. K., & the MAT Working Group of CJ-DATS. (2012). Medication-assisted treatment in criminal justice agencies affiliated with the Criminal Justice-Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS): Availability, barriers, and intentions. Substance Abuse, 33:9-18.

Friedmann, P., Wilson, D., Knudsen, H., Ducharme, L., Welsh, W., Frisman, L., Knight, K., Lin, H., Albizu-Garcia, C., Pankow, J., Hall, E., Urbine, T., Abdel- Salam, S., Duvall, J., & Vocci, F. (2015). Effect of an organizational linkage intervention on staff perceptions of medication-assisted treatment and referral intentions in community corrections. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 50, 50-58.

Shafer, M. S., Prendergast, M., Melnick, G., Stein, L. A., Welsh, W. N., & the CJDATS Assessment Workgroup. (2014). A cluster randomized trial of an organizational process improvement intervention for improving the assessment and case planning of offenders: a study protocol. Health & Justice, 2:1.

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.

SAMHSA/BJA – Enhancing Drug Court Programs

Desirée Crèvecoeur-MacPhail, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (desireec@.ucla.edu)
Sarah Cousins, M.P.H., Project Director

The SAMHSA/BJA – Enhancing Drug Court Programs project is an enhancement grant obtained by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health – Substance Abuse Prevention and Control (SAPC) to provide medication assisted treatment (long acting naltrexone – Vivitrol) to drug court participants.  The grant was designed to supplement current drug court funding to provide up to three months of medication to 81 individuals, as well as provide residential treatment to approximately 20 individuals.  UCLA was selected as the evaluator for this project. SAPC was able to obtain this additional funding due to the positive results (increased length of stay, reduction in use) shown with other treatment patients who were provided the medication.  Due to the expense of the medication, it is not available to most individuals who do not have adequate insurance coverage.  The evaluation involved administration of assessment tools to measure cravings for alcohol or opiates and side effects.  These assessments were administered at baseline (prior to the first dose), as well as weekly for the first 3 weeks after the first dose and monthly thereafter until the patients completed three doses or were discharged from treatment.  A six-month post admission follow-up was also conducted.  Preliminary results indicate that, as with previous research, this group demonstrated improvements in length of stay in treatment.

BJA – Enhancing Drug Court Programs was funded by Los Angeles County, contract PH-001733, from July 2011 to March 2015.


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:  11/25/2015

Top of Page

2016 ISAP Publications
2015 ISAP Publications