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Evidence-Based Screening and Assessment: A Randomized Trial of a Validated Assessment Tool in Three New York City Drug Courts

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $389,093)

This grant will support a field experiment to study the relative effectiveness and efficiency associated with the application of risk-needs-responsivity assessment using standardized tools in adult drug court programs. Misdemeanor and felony offenders entering three New York City drug courts will be randomly assigned to (a) assessment and referral using tools standardized for criminal justice populations (TCUDS II for alcohol and other drug use and dependency; LSI-R for attributes and supervision needs) versus (b) "business as usual" assessment (Universal Treatment Application for psychosocial measures). Following a baseline data collection period, both groups will be tracked over 15 months using archival data to examine classification, treatment recommendations, placement, compliance, retention, and rearrests. Researchers will conduct observation and focus groups, and interview judges and staff on training and other implementation issues. Transactional and institutional cost analysis will be used to examine staff workload, participant treatment, court hearings, and other cost-related differences. Work products include reports and data documenting the implementation of standardized assessment tool and their impact on treatment, program, and cost outcomes of interest to problem-solving court stakeholders. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 15, 2010