This issue of EBP Quarterly presents a second-year implementation and evaluation report for the Somerset County Day Reporting Center. This report, and the corresponding appendices, present a case study of an SCA funded initiative that is utilizing various evidence-based approaches and evaluating process and behavioral outcomes through a researcher-practitioner partnership. This report illustrates many of the key findings uncovered in larger-scale SCA research, but also provides practical examples of program policies and procedures, strategic and action planning, organizational assessment, use of motivational interviewing, monitoring implementation, and assessing program performance. The importance of prior research findings, collaborative leadership, program fidelity, and data-driven decision-making also is presented in this report.
We hope you find this report and the corresponding documents useful as you consider the use of evidence-based approaches in your own agency. Links to the appendices follow below.
A large majority of the more than 2 million people currently incarcerated in the United States will be released at some point, joining nearly 5 million individuals under some form of correctional supervision in the community. Clients involved with the criminal justice system exhibit a variety of risk factors known to reduce the likelihood of behavioral success, and opportunities exist throughout the system to address client risks and needs. During the past decade, efforts to measure client risks and needs, provide evidenced-based services to target assessed risks and needs, and enhance the likelihood of behavioral success have been facilitated by the Second Chance Act (SCA).
In April 2008, Congress passed the SCA, initially authorizing up to $165 million in federal grants to state, local, and tribal government agencies and nonprofit organizations (Council of State Governments Justice Center & Bureau of Justice Assistance, 2016). This legislation represented a strong federal investment in evidence-based strategies to reduce recidivism and increase public safety, along with lowering correctional costs. Since 2009, more than 700 SCA awards have been provided, totaling over $500 million, with approximately 150,000 individuals participating in funded programs.
Several large-scale evaluation projects recently have illustrated both the successes and challenges of SCA programs (Carey et al., 2018; D’Amico, Geckeler, & Kim, 2017; Lindquist, Ayoub, & Carey, 2018; Lindquist, Willison, Walters, & Lattimore, 2017a; Lindquist, Willison, Walters, & Lattimore, 2017b; Rossman, Willison, Lindquist, Walters, & Lattimore, 2016a; Rossman, Willison, Lindquist, Walters, & Lattimore, 2016b). In general, SCA initiatives focus on factors known to contribute to the likelihood of behavioral failure, including such challenges as substance abuse, mental health disorders, unstable housing and homelessness, lack or education and employment, and family disfunction. Furthermore, SCA programs emphasize evidence-based practices and principles that have been shown to increase the probability of behavioral success, such as:
Research to date on SCA funded projects has uncovered a number of characteristics associated with successful implementation, effective client services, and sustained organizational change (Carey et al., 2018; D’Amico, Geckeler, & Kim, 2017; Lindquist, Ayoub, & Carey, 2018; Lindquist, Willison, Walters, & Lattimore, 2017a; Lindquist, Willison, Walters, & Lattimore, 2017b; Rossman, Willison, Lindquist, Walters, & Lattimore, 2016a; Rossman, Willison, Lindquist, Walters, & Lattimore, 2016b). To illustrate, successful program implementation is facilitated by:
Key aspects of providing effective services to clients include:
Finally, SCA funding has not only benefited clients and communities, but also has contributed to organizational change and success. Examples of organizational development associated with SCA funding include:
Despite these positive findings, SCA evaluation research also has identified common issues associated with program implementation and outcomes, including:
The SCA Innovations in Supervision Initiative, formerly known as the Smart Supervision Program (SSP), funds community corrections agencies to develop and implement effective and evidence-based probation and parole practices that address client risks and needs, to improve supervision success rates and behavioral outcomes. Through 2015, 24 SSP awards totaling nearly $17 million had been provided nationally, with promising initial research findings (Bureau of Justice Assistance, 2016). Somerset County, PA, is an example of a jurisdiction initially funded under SSP. In this case, funds were used to implement a day reporting center for medium and high-risk individuals under probation or parole supervision, particularly those with substance abuse problems and needs.
Bureau of Justice Assistance (2016, March). Biannual grantee feedback report: October 2015 – March 2016. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.
Council of State Governments Justice Center & Bureau of Justice Assistance (2016, January). The Second Chance Act. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.
Carey, S. M., Rempel, M., Lindquist, C., Cissner, A., Ayoub, L. H., Kralstein, D., Malsch, A. (2018). Reentry court research: Overview of findings from the National Institute of Justice’s evaluation of Second Chance Act adult reentry courts. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/251496.pdf
D’Amico, R., Geckeler, C., & Kim, H. (2017). An evaluation of seven Second Chance Act adult demonstration programs: Impact findings at 18 months. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/251139.pdf
Lindquist, C., Ayoub, L. H., & Carey, S. M. (2018). The National Institute of Justice’s evaluation of Second Chance Act adult reentry courts: Lessons learned about reentry court program implementation and sustainability. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/251495.pdf
Lindquist, C., Willison, J. B., Walters, J. H., & Lattimore, P. K. (2017a). Second Chance Act offender reentry demonstration projects: Final implementation lessons learned: Factors that facilitate successful program implementation and positive client outcomes. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/250613.pdf
Lindquist, C., Willison, J. B., Walters, J. H., & Lattimore, P. K. (2017b). Second Chance Act offender reentry demonstration projects: Perceived successes and sustainability strategies. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/250614.pdf
Rossman, S. B., Willison, J. B., Lindquist, C., Walters, J. H., & Lattimore, P. K. (2016a). Second Chance Act offender reentry demonstration projects: Evidence-based practices: Case management. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/250470.pdf
Rossman, S. B., Willison, J. B., Lindquist, C., Walters, J. H., & Lattimore, P. K. (2016b). Second Chance Act offender reentry demonstration projects: Evidence-based practices: Screening and assessment. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/250469.pdf
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