CJ-DATS 2 calls for research on the process of diffusion (i.e., adopting, implementing and sustaining new treatment interventions), and on the efficacy of innovative implementation strategies. The goal of this application is to provide knowledge about the implementation of evidence-based drug abuse services in criminal justice settings. The investigators, an experienced and productive investigative team from CJ-DATS 1, have been engaged in studies to improve the implementation of research-based practices and the overall quality of drug abuse treatment for two decades. The investigative team will use the TCU Program Change model as its conceptual framework since this model is specifically concerned with transferring research on substance abuse treatment into practice. Recognizing the need to understand issues in achieving organizational change, the proposed research employs organizational measures consistent with the TCU model (e.g., readiness to change, organizational culture and climate) as well as measures of extent, fidelity and maintenance of implementation in order to understand the efficacy of the implementation strategy introduced. Each of the two studies proposed focuses on an evidence-based practice from CJ-DATS 1: (1) the Co-Occurring Disorders Screening Instruments (CODSIs) developed and validated by the investigative team, and (2) Transitional Case Management (TCM), designed to encourage successful reentry of offender clients. Both of these evidence-based practices face barriers to being widely implemented. Thus, the studies employ and test (using randomized experiments) innovative implementation interventions specific to each research concept. For CODSI, consensus building workshops will be employed to engage all organization staff in a common understanding and plan for action. For TCM, longitudinal strategic planning will be used to foster continuing attention to issues of incorporating change. If successful, the particular significance to implementation science will be the accumulation of evidence supporting the use of these strategies to promote the implementation of evidence-based practice.
Improving the ability of correctional and behavioral health treatment agencies to use more effective implementation strategies has considerable potential for reducing the societal and personal effects of relapse to substance use, recurrence of mental health symptoms, engaging in HIV risk behaviors, the commission of new crimes and subsequent re-incarceration.
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