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Evaluation of the FY2011 Bureau of Justice Assistance Second Chance Act Adult Offender Reentry Demonstration Projects (Focus Area 2)

Award Information

Award #
2012-RY-BX-0001
Congressional District
Status
Closed
Funding First Awarded
2012
Total funding (to date)
$3,534,589

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $2,934,589)

The purpose of the research is to assess the implementation, effects, and cost-effectiveness of 8 adult reentry programs funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance in FY2010 and FY2011. The evaluation will assess whether the programs achieved the primary goals of reducing recidivism and increasing public safety, as well as increased employment and education opportunities, reduced violations of conditions of release, as well as other outcomes of interest. The goals of the evaluation are: (1) coordinate with NIJ and the evaluability assessment (EA) grantee with regard to the results generated from the EA's; (2) conduct a comprehensive process and implementation evaluation to assess fidelity to individual program logic models and evidence-based practices, gauge collaboration and systems change, and identify lessons learned to enhance future reentry program implementation; (3) conduct a multi-tiered outcome evaluation to determine the effects of program participation on recidivism (all sites) and other outcomes (3 sites) and to assess whether program participation increased participation in substance abuse treatment and mental health services; (4) conduct a cost study, identifying program implementation and operations costs in all sites and estimating cost-effectiveness with respect to recidivism in all sites and with respect to multiple outcomes in three sites; and (5) prepare and disseminate findings throughout the course of the evaluation, with a particular focus on materials for policymakers and practitioners.The multi-method evaluation will include multiple data sources and a tiered approach: all sites will be included in a quasi-experimental evaluation that includes all program participants and relies on administrative data (maximizing available statistical power). This will include but not be limited to document review, site visits, teleconferences, focus groups, web surveys, and secondary data review. Three sites will be included in an intensive prospective evaluation of program participants and matched comparison subjects that includes additional data collection (three waves of interviews, oral swab drug testing, and additional cost data) to address all outcomes and factors related to those outcomes. Approximately 500 respondents will be recruited for baseline interviews.

The analysis plan includes but is not limited to an estimation of yearly recidivism rates for program and comparison subjects and fit models of the time to and counts of, reincarcerations and rearrests for each site. When available in the data, greater access to substance abuse treatment and mental health services will be examined. For the implementation evaluation sites, Latent Growth Curve models will be used to test how trajectories in attitudinal, employment, and related mechanism predict transformations away or toward recidivism. The effect of program participation on employment, housing, child support payment, supervision violations, and drug use outcomes will also be examined. Propensity score methods will be used to adjust for program and comparison group differences. Cost-effectiveness analysis will be used to examine the economic impact of crime control policies and programs. Program inputs will be converted into a uniform metric (dollars) that will allow the estimation of the cost of the program for both treatment and comparison groups. In the implementation evaluation sites, data from participant surveys will be used to estimate the amount of services delivered to each individual that will allow the calculation of the bottom-up cost estimates. ca/ncf

The purpose of the research is to assess the implementation, effects, and cost-effectiveness of 8 adult reentry programs funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance in FY2010 and FY2011. The evaluation will assess whether the programs achieved the primary goals of reducing recidivism and increasing public safety, as well as increased employment and education opportunities, reduced violations of conditions of release, as well as other outcomes of interest. The research design includes a retrospective outcome study using administrative data from all sites and a prospective outcome study incorporating prerelease and one round of follow-up interviews with approximately 40 treatment and 40 comparison cases in each site. Supplemental funds have been provided to allow the completion of an additional task for the SCA evaluation. The evaluation team will administer a 12-month follow-up interview to participants in the prospective outcome study to measure reentry experiences and outcomes since the previous interview. The one-hour interviews will be conducted approximately 12 months following the prerelease interviews and will be analyzed in conjunction with the other two waves of interviews. The interview will cover the same topics as the 4-month interview. Oral swab samples will be collected for drug testing of non-incarcerated respondents. Analyses of 12-month data will allow the sustainability of any short-term program effects (documented in the 4-month interview data) to be determined, as well as any "delayed effects" (i.e., effects that were not observed at 4 months but that may be observed at 12 months) to be identified. Further, having three waves of interviews allows trajectories of change over time to be assessed, such that models can be run to test how trajectories in attitudinal, employment, and related mechanisms predict transformations away or toward recidivism. The 12-month interview data will be used to examine the effects of program participation on trajectories of employment, education, child support payment, housing, substance abuse, criminal behavior, and participation in substance abuse and mental health services. Mediational Latent Growth Curve models will be used to test how these outcome trajectories predict transformations away or towards recidivism. In addition the effect of program participation on outcomes at 12 months, controlling for the predictors listed above using fixed effects linear or logistic regression models, will be estimated. Findings from the evaluation will be disseminated through practitioner- and research-focused research briefs, manuscripts, and conference presentations. The final report and public use datasets will include findings and data from the 12-month interviews.ca/ncf

Date Created: August 30, 2012