This application proposes a continuation of our participation as a research center in the second phase of the national Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS 2). The goal is to develop and test systems-level models that integrate public health and public safety approaches for criminal justice-involved adults and adolescents with substance use disorders;perform multi-site studies concerning the implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) involved in the assessment and treatment of drug abuse in criminal justice contexts;develop collaborative organizational- and systems-level studies on implementing and sustaining a coordinated continuum of services for adolescents and adults with substance use disorders who are returning to the community after detention or incarceration. Our unique contribution to CJ-DATS 2 will include organizational and clinical expertise in the linkage of inmates to community services, especially continuity of care models for health problems such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis. Our partners remain highly supportive of improvements in service delivery and research. Building on successful collaborations among the criminal justice, treatment, and academic communities in CJ-DATS, the Rhode Island Unified Research Center of CJ-DATS 2 will add capacity to perform both adult and adolescent projects, as well as diversity and experienced collaborators in Puerto Rico. We propose to use CJ-DATS 2's network and resources as infrastructure for National Improvement Collaboratives across corrections, treatment and public health. CJ-DATS 2 Collaboratives would engage leaders and multidisciplinary teams across local agencies in rapid cycle quality improvement projects to implement evidence-based practices. CJ-DATS 2 researchers would provide technical expertise, coaching and improvement advice. Although we will accede to the priorities of the Steering Committee, NIDA and stakeholders, our research concepts highlight our strengths in the translation and evaluation of evidence-based health and behavioral service interventions: (1) Dissemination of a continuum of testing and care for HIV/AIDS;and (2) Implementation of evidence-based Motivational Enhancement Therapy-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MET-CBT5) in juvenile probation. Implementation research will provide generalizable knowledge about whether the Improvement Collaboratives at the nexus of corrections, addiction treatment and public health improve organizational functioning, process quality and delivery of evidence-based services to drug-involved offenders.
Examination of whether and how CJ-DATS 2 Improvement Collaboratives lead to successful organizational change at the nexus of corrections, addiction treatment and public health will inform quality improvement efforts that seek to implement high-quality, evidence-based services for drug-involved offenders. Such initiatives hold great promise in improving both public safety and public health.
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