An existing public-academic research partnership between the Connecticut Department of Correction (CDOC), the University of Connecticut, and the University of Connecticut Health Center seek to continue research infrastructure development to achieve a transformational process where the research mission is consistent, well understood, accepted, and integrated into daily institutional practices of CDOC. Over the past eleven years, the role of research has been gaining attention for its ability to inform the CDOC system, leveraging quality improvement and organizational development for safe institutional environments and safe communities. This progress is impeded by the shifting ecology imposed by the economic and socio-political environment. This partnership seeks to move beyond demonstration projects or singular research projects and move toward a more integrated and widespread use of research findings in the system. Building upon the work of Fixsen, Blase, Duda, Metz, Naoom, and Van Dyke (2008) utilizing an implementation research model, this partnership seeks to create implementation capacity to allow innovations and demonstrations to be deployed effectively. Of particular interest is the deployment of evidence-based practices that have been tested in our clinical settings and are ready for system-wide implementation. In doing this, a new translational research model is proposed that fits the unique and shifting ecology of the Connecticut correctional research environment. The three objectives include: a.) Build on existing foundations to create a sustainable environment /capacity for research;b.) Link existing data from systems between correctional research partner agencies for the conduct of research;c.) Create opportunities for future correctional researchers to maintain/sustain research infrastructure. In keeping with Fixsen's model, a research focused """"""""transformation zone"""""""" will be created in which interdisciplinary and cross agency workgroups collaborate on each of the target objectives. The potential impact proposed by this partnership is to develop a new translational research model that fits the unique and contextually social responsive correctional research environment. Three strategies for long term sustainability follow suggested essential implementation outcomes: to effect changes in adult professional behavior, changes in formal and informal organizational structures and cultures to support the changes in adult professional behavior;and, changes in relationships to consumers and stakeholders. By aligning project activities with other agencies that have overlapping organizational strategic goals there can be a synergistic leveraging of resources to maximize quality improvement and organizational development to achieve a safer CDOC institutional environment and a safer Connecticut community. Future opportunities for collaboration with other states would maximize the system's capacity to transform through dissemination and perpetuating excitement within the research community about achievements.

Public Health Relevance

This project seeks to develop the foundations for an environment with a sustainable capacity for research. This will be achieved through community engagement, integration and action, designed to support and nurture innovative research, new researchers and new methods. A potential outcome of this project is creation of a new translational research model that fits the unique and shifting ecology of the Connecticut correctional research environment.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
High Impact Research and Research Infrastructure Programs—Multi-Yr Funding (RC4)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-S (58))
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Juliano-Bult, Denise M
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University of Connecticut
Schools of Nursing
United States
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Barta, William D; Shelton, Deborah; Cepelak, Cheryl et al. (2016) Promoting a Sustainable Academic-Correctional Health Partnership: Lessons for Systemic Action Research. Syst Pract Action Res 29:27-50