Reducing Barriers to Implementing Behavioral Health Services for Offenders on Probation: A Pilot Study of a Local Change Team Approach

The purpose of this study is to examine current substance abuse assessment, referral, linkage, and monitoring procedures in the Philadelphia Adult Probation and Parole Departments, increase understanding of the systems, organizational, and staff barriers to improving these processes, and test the feasibility of forming a multi-agency local change team (including treatment and probation staff) to  address and solve one or more process improvement goals. Improvements in the implementation of substance abuse services for probationers are likely to require an implementation intervention that encompasses organizational and staff-level activities.The study includes key informant interviews, a web-based survey of probation and community drug treatment staff, and piloting of the local change  team intervention. This research is being funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Related faculty

Steven Belenko

Conference Presentations

Belenko, S., Rieckmann, T., Johnson, I., & Wolff, N. Barriers to implementing substance abuse treatment services for probationers: Views of probation and treatment staff. American Society of Criminology Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, November 2012.

Policing

This research is concerned with identifying the conditions that allow for the introduction of new perspectives and practices on the part of individual and group members of police organizations. We examine issues of culture and cultural change, and offer insights into the processes that allow police to both reflect on their established beliefs and alter their practical routines to address the challenges they face. It also studies how existing accountability and governance arrangements within police organizations may not always align with and reinforce broader strategic directions, such as the move to partnerships and networks. Through our collaborative projects with police organizations in countries  such as Australia and the United States, we develop new approaches to educating and building the  capacities of police officers to implement innovative policing policies and practices.

Related faculty

  • Jennifer Wood
  • Jerry Ratcliffe

Selected publications

  • Ratcliffe, JH. (2008) ‘Knowledge management challenges in the development of intelligence-led  policing’, in T. Williamson (Ed) The Handbook of Knowledge-Based Policing: Current Conceptions and  Future Directions (Chichester: John Wiley and Sons).
  • Walsh, P & Ratcliffe, JH. (2005) Strategic criminal intelligence education: A collaborative approach. Journal of the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts. Volume 16, Issue 2: 152-166.
  • Ratcliffe, JH. (2004) Crime mapping and the training needs of law enforcement. European Journal on  Criminal Policy and Research. Volume, 10 Issue 1: 65-83.

The Pennsylvania Research Center at Temple University (Part of the national CJDATS research cooperative)

The Pennsylvania Research Center at Temple University (PRC), funded by the National Institute on Drug  Abuse, is built around an empirically grounded conceptual model for implementation research, and includes a number of state and local criminal justice and public health agency partners in Pennsylvania and Florida. Our primary criminal justice agency collaboration is with the PA Department of Corrections (PADOC), continuing a highly successful partnership in place for the past decade. Additional collaborations are with the Philadelphia Prison System, and the Berks and Lancaster County Departments of Probation. The overall goal of the PRC is to improve the implementation of evidence- based practices in correctional settings. The PRC brings a multidisciplinary perspective for conducting implementation research on drug treatment and HIV interventions in the criminal justice system. Current projects are testing staff-driven implementation interventions to improve assessment and case planning for inmates leaving prison, increase the use of medication-assisted treatment for offenders on probation, and improve the extent and quality of HIV services for correctional populations.

Related faculty

  • Steven Belenko
  • Matthew Hiller
  • Wayne Welsh
  • Jennifer Wood

Selected publications

  • Belenko, S., Hiller, M., Visher, C., Copenhaver, M., O’Connell, D., Burdon, W., Pankow, J., Clarke, J., & Oser, C. (in press). Polices and practices in the delivery of HIV services in correctional agencies and  facilities: Results from a multi site survey. Journal of Correctional Health Care.
  • Stahler, G., Mennis, J., Belenko, S., Welsh, W., Hiller, M., & Zajac, G. (in press). Predicting recidivism for released state prison offenders: Examining the influence of individual and neighborhood characteristic s and spatial contagion on the likelihood of reincarceration. Criminal Justice and Behavior.
  • Freidmann, P., Hoskinson, R., Gordon, M., Schwartz, R., Kinlock, T., Knight, K., Flynn, PM, Welsh, WN, Stein, LAR, Sacks, S., O’Connell, DJ, Knudsen, HK, Shafer, MS, Hall, E., & Frisman, LK. (2012). Medication- assisted treatment in criminal justice settings affiliated with the Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS): Availability, barriers and intentions. Substance Abuse, 33, 9-18.
  • Hiller, M. L., Belenko, S., Welsh, W., Zajac, G., & Peters, R. H. (2011). Screening and assessment: An evidence-based process for the management and care of adult drug involved offenders. In C.G. Leukefeld, J. Gregrich, & T. Gullotta (Eds.). Handbook on evidence based substance abuse treatment practice in criminal justice settings (pp. 45-62). New York: Springer.

Juvenile Corrections

Building on their development of national standards for measuring recidivism, Brian Lockwood, now at Monmouth University, Liz Mengers of CJCA, several state juvenile corrections CEO’s and Phil Harris are developing national standards for measuring positive youth outcomes. Recidivism dominates measurement of program performance, but the objectives of programs emphasize positive changes. Measurement of outcomes related to these objectives is, however, less common, and no consensus exists regarding what to measure. Given growing demands for performance reports, data on positive outcomes can help shift goals of juvenile justice away from its punitive aims to the original youth development goals of juvenile justice.

Related faculty

Phil Harris

Selected publications

  • Ayuyev, V.V., Jupin, J., Harris, P.W., & Obradovic, Z. Dynamic (2010) Clustering-Based Estimation of  Missing Values in Mixed Type Data. In T.B. Pedersen, M.K. Mohania, and A M. Tjoa (Eds.), Data Warehousing and Knowledge Discovery.
  • Book Series:
    Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Heidelberg: Springer Berlin. (pp. 366-377).

Community Corrections

This project, funded by the National Institute of Corrections, reviewed and synthesized the literature on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices in substance abuse treatment to community corrections settings, developed a conceptual model for improving technology transfer of treatment innovations, and developed and proposed a series of policy and practice recommendations to improve technology transfer into community corrections  agencies.

Related faculty

Steven Belenko

Selected publications

  • Belenko, S., Taxman, F.S., & Wexler, H.K. (2008). Technology Transfer of Evidence-Based Practice in Substance Abuse
  • Treatment in Community Corrections Settings: A White Paper. Washington, DC: National Institute of Corrections.

Building Capacity

Beyond the unique learning experiences we provide to undergraduate and graduate students, our department offers policy-makers, practitioners and community groups opportunities to increase their  knowledge of criminal justice issues and to bolster their skills in areas such as the design of research, the implementation of policies and practices, and the development of new service delivery ideas and solutions. We seek to build capacity through a variety of methods, including technical advice and  consultancies, hands-on training, and action research projects involving service providers working collaboratively with members of our Department to generate and diffuse knowledge that makes a difference to practice. Through this work we contribute to theoretical debates on the challenges of service delivery reform, especially for promoting and embedding new thinking and practices within and across organizations.

Other themes:

  • Governance: Space and place
  • Communities: Social justice
  • Shaping policy
  • Innovations