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  Research: Public Health  
ACE! has a number of projects that focus on improving health and health systems, not only for justice-involved people, but for other vulnerable populations.

Our projects that focus on public health are below.
Current Projects
Completed Projects
Public Health Research (you are here)
Adult & Juvenile Corrections Research
Organization Change Research
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  Current Projects icon Current Public Health Research  

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STRIDE: Seek, Test, Treat, Retain

In this project, Seek, Test, Treat, Retain in Washington, DC, ACE! is working with the Yale School of Medicine and Howard University to conduct a randomized controlled trial on buprenorphine. We are working with DC Pretrial Services and Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency to recruit pretrial defendants who are opioid-dependent and HIV-positive to test buprenorphine plus counseling versus counseling without medication-assisted treatment. Learn more.


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Motivational Assistance Program to Initiate Treatment (MAPIT)


In this National Institute on Drug Abuse funded project, ACE! is working with Dr. Scott Walters and research staff at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. MAPIT examines the impact that In-Person Motivational Interviewing (MI) versus a Motivational Computer Program (MC) has on outcomes of probationers with court determined drug and alcohol conditions as compared to standard probation. This is a randomized, multi-site experiment with the intent to capture outcomes throughout the probation process and as such, will follow each probationer over a 12-month period. As part of this study, we will be analyzing data on cost as well. Learn More.

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Evidence Mapping to Advance Justice Practices (EMTAP)

The goal of this project is to create a synthesis of evidence in the area of justice health. We are creating a matrix model hat will illustrate effective practices and show where gaps in the research lie. This tool, which is still in development, will assist policymakers in determining areas where additional study is needed, which will be a valuable tool in allocating research funding and developing RFPs. For more information, visit the EMTAP Study Page.
Listed below are some earlier studies on public health, conducted by Faye Taxman and other members of the ACE! team.
VA Department of Health

This demonstration project will study the network of HIV service providers supported by Patient Navigators (PNs) utilizing Motivational Interviewing (MI) to engage, retain and support ongoing engagement of HIV-positive women in HIV care. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will collaborate with Centra Health to facilitate the network development between Infectious Diseases Associates of Medical Associates of Central Virginia, the Central Virginia Health District, and Piedmont Access to Health Services. ACE! faculty will serve as the primary evaluators of this project. As part of the evaluation, ACE! will survey provider staff about knowledge and attitudes regarding MI and patient navigation techniques, and will also survey practitioners in the area regarding their use of the patient navigation referral system. Additionally, GMU will analyze data on clients from the patient navigator files and data from the state Ryan White database.

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Information Sharing Policies and Practices for Correctional Health (with Allison Cuellar, Ph.D., Health Services & Policy Analysis)

Offenders are among the unhealthiest citizens on most major measures of well-being. Offenders tend to die early (Binswanger et al., 2007; Teplin, Abram, McClelland, Dulcan, & Mericle, 2002) and suffer from nearly all chronic and acute health conditions—physical health, mental health, and substance abuse. Research suggests that justice-involved people are medically underserved prior to sentencing (Feinstein et al., 1998), during periods of confinement (Chandler, Fletcher, & Volkow, 2009; Gallagher & Dobrin, 2006; Gallagher, Dobrin, & Douds, 2007; Taxman, Perdoni, & Harrison, 2007), and during periods of community supervision (Taxman, Perdoni & Harrison, 2007). The goals of this project are to disseminate models to improve the use of seamless systems of care. We aim to provide easy to access correctional health care information, conduct a gap analysis of continuum of care models, and provide a prototype of correctional health financing and caring models for to elderly, chronically ill, mentally ill, or substance abusing offenders.

Action Research to Advance Drug Treatment in the Criminal Justice System

Dr. Faye Taxman served as Principal Investigator on this project sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This was a six-year project from October 1, 2002-August 30, 2008. As the national coordinating center for the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s research network on treatment for the criminal justice-involved addict, the cooperative involves eight other centers: the University of Miami (Howard Liddle, Ph.D.), University of California, Los Angeles (Michael Prendergast, Ph.D.), Brown University (Peter Friedmann, M.D.), University of Delaware (James Inciardi, Ph.D.), Texas Christian University (Kevin Knight, Ph.D.), National Research Institute and Development (Harry Wexler, Ph.D., Stan Sacks, Ph.D., and Nancy Jainchill, Ph.D.), and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services/University of Connecticut (Linda Frisman, Ph.D.). This network is involved in implementing studies to develop new instruments for better management and treatment of the offender population, to implement clinical trials to test new strategies and interventions for improving outcomes from offenders, and to implement process studies to examine how criminal justice policy makers and practitioners affect offender and system outcomes. The network is also responsible for mentoring new students and faculty in criminal justice-drug treatment issues. Related studies are:

CJ-DATS National Survey of Criminal Justice Treatment Practices. This is a multi-level survey of senior executives, administrators, program directors, and staff in correctional and drug treatment organizations. The survey involves a census of all 50 states and a nationally representative sample of counties/cities. The survey is designed to provide a systematic assessment of the availability and types of treatment provided to substance-abusing offenders throughout the criminal justice system. Surveys were collected from over 1,000 organizations on treatment and organizational issues.

CJ-DATS Step’N Out. This randomized trial is implemented in a Probation and Parole Office in Richmond, VA along with three other CJ-DATS sites. The study involves the use of positive reinforcements and contingency management protocol to engage the offender in treatment services and improve outcomes. The protocol is a collaborative behavioral management approach to parole and substance abuse treatment where the parole officer, treatment counselor and client meet to work out a contract of graduated incentives and sanctions.

HIV Prevention for Reentry Offenders. This randomized trial is implemented in two prisons in Virginia. The study examines the efficacy of a DVD focused on gender and culturally sensitive behavioral techniques to learn to manage risky behaviors. The protocol will be implemented in four CJ-DATS sites.

Understanding Spirituality in Community Programming

Dr. Faye Taxman served as Principal Investigator on this project (with Meridith Thanner, University of Maryland), funded by the Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate the role and effectiveness of including a faith-based component in substance abuse treatment programming. This study was from January 2003-June 2004.
Drug Courts in Maine: A Test of Effectiveness

Dr. Faye Taxman served as Co-Principal Investigator on this project (with Donald Anspach, University of Southern Maine), sponsored by the Maine Alcohol and Drug Agency. The grant examines the treatment provided in drug courts in Maine and the impact on offender outcomes. The project was from January 1, 2002-December 30, 2004.
Treatment in the Drug Court

Dr. Faye Taxman served as Co-Principal Investigator (with Donald Anspach, University of Southern Maine), sponsored by the National Institute of Justice. This naturalistic study reviewed the composition of drug courts in four areas. The study was from October 1, 2000-December 2002.
ADAM-Washington, DC

Dr. Faye Taxman served as Principal Investigator and subcontractor for ABT Associates. This was a grant to conduct drug testing and interviews at booking in Washington, DC. This project was from January 1998-November 1999.
Evaluation of Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Services in Five Jails in Virginia

Dr. Faye Taxman served as Principal Investigator on this project funded by the National Institute of Justice. The project was a grant from October 1997-January 1999 to conduct a process evaluation of a residential treatment programs.
Therapeutic Milieu: Treatment and Continuum Issues

Dr. Faye Taxman served as Principal Investigator on this project which was sponsored by the National Institute of Justice. The project was a grant from March 1997-September 1999 to conduct a process evaluation of a residential treatment program in a Maryland prison.
Evaluation of the HIDTA Seamless System: A Multi-Center Approach

Dr. Faye Taxman served as Principal Investigator on this project funded by the National Institute of Justice. The project was a grant from January 1997-March 2003 to conduct a randomized experiment in eight sites in the HIDTA project.
Jail Addiction Services (JAS)

Dr. Faye Taxman served as Principal Investigator on this project sponsored by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and the Governor's Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission. This project, which was an evaluation of the effectiveness of substance abuse treatment in a jail setting in Montgomery County, Maryland, was funded by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services from October 1993-May 1996.

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