This study aims to develop and test the feasibility and preliminary effects of a self-paced Computerized Multimedia Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral Service tool on identification of victimization from intimate partner violence (IPV) and on utilization of IPV-related services among female offenders under drug court supervision. The proposed study responds to an initiative outlined in PA-09- 146 entitled "Pilot and Feasibility studies in Preparation for Drug Abuse Prevention Trials" which calls for applications that will develop and test novel prevention services for problems that co-occur with drug use. IPV is a serious public health problem that disproportionately affects drug-involved female offenders under community supervision. Numerous studies have found associations between experiencing IPV and continued drug use among women in drug treatment. This research suggests that failure to prevent IPV among female offenders mandated to drug treatment is likely to result in higher rates of relapse, treatment attrition and recidivism, underscoring the need for cost-effective services to identify IPV and improve linkages to IPV services that may be deployed in drug courts. Computerized IPV service tools, which have been shown to be feasible and effective in identifying IPV and conducting referrals in emergency care settings, hold promise for overburdened drug court settings. For this proposed study, 180 female offenders from the four largest drug treatment courts in New York City will be enrolled and randomized to either: (1) a one-hour self-paced Computerized Multimedia IPV Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral Service session that includes evidence-based activities of screening for IPV, safety assessment, safety planning, setting relationship safety goals, identifying IPV service needs and selecting targeted service referrals;or (2) a one-hour Case Manager delivered IPV screening, brief intervention and referral service session covering the same activities. Participants will complete a baseline assessment and repeated assessments at one-month and three-month follow-ups. This study will be conducted by Dr. Louisa Gilbert, Dr. Nabila El-Bassel, Dr. Elwin Wu and Dr. Matthew Epperson at the Social Intervention Group in collaboration with Dr. Frank Moretti from the Columbia Center for New Media, Teaching and Learning and with Justin Barry, Citywide Drug Court Coordinator for the Criminal Court of the City of New York. If the proposed tool is found to be feasible and effective in identifying IPV and in improving linkages to IPV services, it represents a cost-effective service that may be scaled up with ease, fidelity and speed in the growing number of drug courts nationwide. This study aims to make a significant impact on advancing health services research by introducing and testing a novel and potentially powerful service tool that may improve service delivery to address the co-occurring epidemic of IPV among drug-involved female offenders.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed study addresses a significant public health problem of intimate partner violence (IPV) among drug-involved female offenders. This study aims to design and test the feasibility and preliminary effects of a self-paced computerized multimedia service tool on identifying different types of IPV victimization and on improving linkages to IPV- services among female offenders under drug court supervision. This innovative computerized multimedia tool holds promise for increasing the capacity, quality, and cost- effectiveness of IPV prevention services in overburdened drug court settings.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Planning Grant (R34)
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Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB)
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Wiley, Tisha R A
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Columbia University (N.Y.)
Other Health Professions
Schools of Social Work
New York
United States
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