Rehabilitation and Behavior Change

Rehabilitation and behavior change focuses on research involving high-risk offenders and criminal behaviors that include criminal and violent offending, recidivism, delinquency, substance use, and HIV risk behaviors.

Project Title: Juvenile Justice-Translational Research on Interventions for Adolescents in the Legal System (JJ-TRIALS) Funding Agency: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health Affiliated Faculty: Steven Belenko (PI), Wayne Welsh, Jennifer Wood and Matthew Hiller

Description: A five-year multisite project to test implementation interventions to identify and reduce gaps in substance abuse services for adolescents under community juvenile justice supervision. The project involves a cluster randomized trial in 34 sites in 7 states. We are testing the impact of various interventions involving needs assessments, data-driven decision making, behavioral health training, and facilitated local change teams on organizational, staff, and youth outcomes.

Project Title: SMART Supervision: CRIMNEEDS Evaluation Funding Agency: Bureau of Justice Assistance, US Department of Justice Affiliated Faculty: Steven Belenko (PI) and Matthew Hiller

Description: The goal of this project is to enhance the efforts of the Philadelphia Adult Probation and Parole Department to address the unmet needs of moderate to high-risk offenders by fully implementing the Risk-Needs-Responsivity model. Moderate and high-risk officers are being trained in case management techniques and supervision planning, a customized criminogenic needs assessment tool is being developed, and a computerized decision-making tool is being developed to identify the best services in Philadelphia to address the criminogenic needs of probationers. Temple is conducting a randomized controlled trial to test the impact of these new tools on probationer outcomes and service engagement.

Project Title: Philadelphia Revived: Obtaining Success through Peer Encouraged Recovery (PROSPER) Funding Agency: Laura and John Arnold Foundation Affiliated Faculty: Steven Belenko

Description: The goal of the PROSPER project, a collaboration between Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) and Temple University’s Department of Criminal Justice, is to examine the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of integrating Peer Recovery Specialists (PRSs) in an adult drug treatment court. A growing body of research demonstrates that peer support can facilitate recovery and reduces health care costs, but to date the model has not been tested in criminal justice settings. This study will be the first in the U.S. to assess whether PRSs, working with the Philadelphia Treatment Court (PTC) staff and treatment providers, can help to promote retention, engagement, and ongoing recovery post-graduation. During the first project phase, focus groups and interviews will be conducted with key informants to provide insight into how PRSs can best support PTC clients. During the second project phase, 112 newly enrolled PTC clients will be recruited and randomly assigned to either be connected with a PRS or to receive treatment-as-usual (56 per each condition), and monitored for 9 months. Key indicators such as relapse, re-arrest, and drug court completion will help determine whether clients assigned a PRS have greater program success than those in the control condition. This study will answer important questions regarding how to successfully integrate peer staff into drug courts, and provide preliminary indications of the efficacy of adding PRSs to the treatment court process.

Project Title: Evaluability Assessment and Development of Outcome Evaluation for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Violence Prevention Program (VPP) Affiliated Faculty: Wayne Welsh

Description: DVPP is a relatively new program being used to treat violent offenders who are eligible for parole. This specialized treatment program is designed to address cognitive distortions and aggressive behaviors in violent offenders to reduce the risk of future violence.

Project Title: Research and Analyses of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI) Data Set Affiliated Faculty: Caterina Roman and Kate Auerhahn

Description: The data from the evaluation of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI) are very complex and rich panel data that allow for the investigation of the dynamics of re-entry and the post incarceration experience. Released in 2011, these data are already the focus of a great deal of secondary analysis and are likely to continue as such. Missing data are a problem endemic to panel studies, and to research on offenders, ex-offenders, and other socially marginal populations. Given the theoretical and practical currency of reentry issues in criminal justice, and the importance of panel data to the study of these issues, Auerhahn is examining the theoretical underpinnings and subsequent consequences of different approaches to the handling of missing data. Research using the SVORI data to investigate the relationship between family support and recidivism reveals that analyses utilizing listwise deletion and multiple imputation are substantively quite similar. More specific comparisons of similarities and differences between these results are discussed along with implications for the interpretation of findings. Roman and colleagues are using the SVORI data to examine the relationship between prisoner debt, child support, employment and successful community reintegration. Recently published pieces include a descriptive analyses of child support debt and its relationship to service receipt post-incarceration (Criminal Justice Policy Review), and the longitudinal associations among child support debt, employment, and recidivism (Sociological Quarterly).