Current Major Projects
This project is a collaboration between ACE! researchers and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PADOC) within the restricted housing units (solitary confinement) in seven prisons. Using in-depth qualitative approaches (observations and interviews) the research team collects and analyzes data examining perceptions of punishment, deprivation, mental/physical health, identity, and reform/change. The project will provide research-driven recommendations to PADOC for improving living/working in restricted housing units.
The Delaware Department of Corrections (DE DOC) began implementing the RNR Simulation Tool in their Level 5 facilities (prisons) in 2013 and is in the process of implementing it in Level 4 facilities (reentry). DE DOC employs all three portals of the tool, assessing individual needs and making programming recommendations, examining program quality, and determining where additional programming and services are needed.
The supervision field lacks clear, guided practice statements regarding how best to manage individuals in the community. This contributes to inconsistency across agencies, and perceptions of unfair and illegitimate practices. This project uses a modified RAND/University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Appropriateness Method (RAM) process to create Practice Guidelines in six areas: Violent or Gang-Involved, Mental Health Disorders, Young Adults, Intimate Partner Violence, Driving While Intoxicated, and Substance Use Disorders. The overarching goals are to accelerate the use of evidence-based practices for different risk-need profiles, to create more fairness in how noncompliance to conditions of supervision are handled, and to improve successful outcomes from supervision.
The DREAM program is a cognitive-behavioral program tailored to address key emerging adult development issues through group/individualized sessions, comprehensive case management, and reentry services. This program will be tested through a randomized controlled trial comparing DREAM to standard jail services. The goal is to develop and test tools that can help staff improve young individuals’ behavior and outcomes both inside the jail and after release.
A service system intervention for justice youth at risk for suicide (PI is Dr. Gail Wasserman, Columbia University). The specific aims are to develop and test a technological cross-system identification and linkage service model that trains staff, formalizes interagency collaboration and includes referral decision-making criteria. The tool uses a mobile application to seamlessly combine screening for suicide and related behavioral health problems.
This project is a collaboration with the Volgenau School of Engineering with funding from the National Science Foundation. The goal of this program it to explore the use of wearable technology to help individuals with substance use disorders.
This 5-year study evaluates whether the Stepping Up Initiative overcomes barriers to implementation of EBPPs and the impact on key outcomes, such as increased number of clients receiving behavioral health services, increased use of EBPPs, and dedicated resources to advance the use of EBPPs. The study uses the CJ Evidence-Based Interagency Implementation Model (CJ-IIM) and draws on both quantitative and qualitative methods to understand which dissemination and implementation (D/I) change processes positively impact the expanded use of EBPPs in CJ.
The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Hidalgo County Emerging Adult Strategy (HCEAS), a Swift, Certain, Fair (SCF) program aimed at emerging adults under community supervision in Hidalgo County, Texas. HCEAS, operating since April 2017, is a specialized probation caseload designed to use swift, certain, and fair incentives and sanctions to promote positive behaviors by addressing key EA developmental issues during supervision. A randomized design is being used to evaluate this program, taking into account key outcomes such as revocations and stabilizing factors (e.g., employment, housing).
The goal of this study, led by Dr. Ashli Sheidow (Oregon Social Learning Center), is to examine the use of contingency management in juvenile probation offices. To achieve this goal, the project looks at the feasibility of JPOs to deliver an AOD abuse intervention, clinical efficacy for JPOs as service delivery providers, and identify any barriers that would need to be addressed for JPOs to deliver such services.
ACE! partners with Michigan State University’s School of Criminal Justice, and other organizations (funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)) to provide training and technical assistance to agencies who have received grants through BJA’s Innovations Suite. We help co-facilitate two Researcher-Practitioner Fellows Academies per year and collaborate with the group to create tools to facilitate active research projects.
This project aims to build engagement among nontraditional health partners (i.e., criminal justice (CJ), community health care providers), address social determinants of health (SDOH) (e.g., housing, substance use, food/nutrition) for a highly disadvantaged population, and build collaboration enhancing clients’ service access through a centralized online platform to connect CJ and community providers.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) formed the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) to test different methods to reduce the negative consequences of opioid abuse among individuals in the justice system. This five year coordination center will be to support NIDA’s JCOIN initiative including an analytical center, 10 research centers, and our work. This includes an administrative core, translational/implementation core, dissemination/stakeholders core, education/research core and pilot funding core. The translational core will be responsible for implementing studies to examine the source, channel, message for various audiences that yields the greatest uptake. The dissemination/stakeholder core will develop new translational materials for the field with outreach to an array of stakeholders with the goal of inspiring innovation and organizational change. The education/research core will train and mentor new scholars of varying levels from undergraduate to post-doctoral.
This project is a collaboration with a county level court-services unit. The study includes a mixed-method (largely qualitative) design to examine understanding and use of evidence based practices within juvenile probation, detention, boys/girls half-way houses, juvenile and adult intake and adult probation. Funded twice by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) through a Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), the Juvenile Justice project includes an intensive researcher-practitioner partnership to learn about agency processes and work to improve them around the use of EBPs.
Stepping Up is designed and administered by National Association of Counties (NACo), Council of State Government (CSG) Justice Center, and American Psychiatric Foundation (APF) to reform mental health, substance use, and justice practices to reduce the number of people with mental health disorders in jails. ACE! is examining how the initiative is designed in 455 counties, and the impact on the number of clients served, number of mental health services provided, and number of resources available for mental health services. A comparison group of 455 non-SU counties will be used to assess progress in achieving the goals of Stepping Up.
NC-PASE is designed to use existing agency data to conduct predictive analytics. The program identifies profiles within the high to moderate risk population and builds Strategic Supervision Guidelines (SSG), or tailored supervision practices, for various risk-need profiles in different geographic areas.
The Philadelphia Adult Probation and Parole Department (APPD) has collaborated with ACE! since 2013. This project has involved all officers completing the SOARING2/SUSTAIN eLearning, as well as training supervisors to serve as coaches. In addition, ACE! developed a needs assessment and case planning tool that is used by the 200+ APPD probation officers.
The RNR Simulation Tool is designed to assist justice and treatment agencies in determining what forms of programming will be most effective in reducing recidivism and improving outcomes within their population. Implemented in over 200 jurisdictions, it is comprised of three portals that provide decision-support at the client (Assess an Individual), program (Program Tool for Adults), and system level (Assess Jurisdiction's Capacity).
Stop, Triage, Engage, Educate, and Rehabilitate is a diversion program where police officers work with community treatment to divert individuals toward treatment instead of the criminal justice system. ACE! is conducting an evaluation of this pre-arrest diversion by using a randomized controlled trial.
SUSTAIN (Staff Undertaking Skills to Advance Innovation) is a learning system that consists of both eLearning and coaching. It is designed to assist professionals in building skills associated for the effective management of individuals involved in the criminal justice system. It includes a values-based training of coaching to develop internal coaches which will then work on internal capacity to implement evidence-based supervision. The state of Texas has funded 14 jurisdictions to implement SUSTAIN and the Virginia Department of Corrections has been using SUSTAIN for four years.
The Prison Project is a multi-method study of six prisons (male/female, maximum, medium, and minimum security levels) within the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Using surveys and interviews with staff and inmates, the project examines core correctional concepts related to procedural justice including relationships, trust, and legitimacy.
Expanding the use of MAT in specialty courts is a priority of NADCP as well as a national priority of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (2018). Surveys of problem solving courts and treatment providers have documented that few problem-solving courts have dedicated treatment services, and even though treatment staff are part of the problem-solving teams, appropriate treatment is not often available (Taxman, et al., 2018). And, the use of MAT may be impacted by the knowledge and attitude of treatment and problem-solving court staff. This administrative supplement will assist in understanding two issues: 1) the current utilization of MAT among problem solving courts; and 2) the barriers and facilitators to the utilization of MAT in problem solving court settings.