1.04.2012

Straight From the Office of Justice Programs- Funding for Desistance -Based Reenty Model Available From the Bureau of Justice Assistance

I came across this today, and thought that our readers might be interested in participating in this Webinar!
This is an exact copy of the notice I found at the Office of Justice Programs, including all of the information needed to attend.
Elizabeth Hall
 
BJA Logo
Bureau of Justice Assistance
NIJ Logo
National Institute of Justice

Second Chance Act Demonstration Field Experiment:
Fostering Desistance through Effective Supervision

Upcoming Webinar

Date: Monday, January 9, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT
Cost: Free
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ welcome potential site applicants to participate in this webinar to discuss the Second Chance Act Demonstration Field Experiment: Fostering Desistance through Effective Supervision (SCA DFE). BJA, NIC, and NIJ are supporting this multi-site DFE in an effort to significantly expand the body of evidence associated with improving the outcomes for adult offenders re-entering the community. This DFE will combine a multi-site demonstration of a reentry model with a rigorous experimental evaluation in an applied setting. The SCA DFE will also focus on techniques to improve adult offender's motivation to change and strategies to alter criminal thinking using a desistance approach. It will answer critical questions about the impact of providing criminal thinking to alter offender outcomes.
This webinar will present: (a) An overview of the SCA DFE model; (b) A description of the training for the parole officers and community service providers; (c) A description of the motivational enhancement-criminal thinking interventions; and (d) A detailed explanation of a site's expectations to participate in a randomized control trial, a process evaluation, and an impact evaluation. There will also be an opportunity for participants to ask specific questions about the SCA DFE process and model.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/879584832
System Requirements:
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

Call for Proposals

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has re-released a solicitation to fund up to four demonstration sites to test a desistance-based reentry model. This project is a collaborative effort among BJA, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). BJA will fund the demonstration sites, NIJ has funded the evaluation, and NIC will coordinate and facilitate the training, technical assistance, and coaching to the sites. BJA, NIJ, and NIC are supporting this multi-site DFE in an effort to significantly expand the body of evidence associated with improving the outcomes for offenders re-entering the community.
This DFE will combine a multi-site demonstration of a reentry model with rigorous experimental evaluation in an applied setting. This DFE will consist of a randomized controlled trial (RCT), where the parole officers will be randomized into treatment and control groups, and the parolee participants will be randomized into treatment and control groups.
This DFE will address an offender's motivation to change as well as criminal thinking using a desistance approach, two areas that we need more scientific information. It will answer critical questions about the impact of providing criminal thinking to alter offender outcomes. This multi-site DFE will also provide a rigorous test of a specific reentry model intended to improve offender outcomes post-release. Some of the outcomes of interest include, but are not limited to, re-offending and re-incarceration (recidivism).
The goals are to: (1) improve the offender's motivation to change; (2) address cognitive and behavioral functioning regarding crime-prone thoughts and behaviors; and (3) address core criminogenic needs that affect offender performance while on parole. The model also works on building the infrastructure of the reentry process and community-based services to deliver collaborative and seamless services.
DFE site applicants must agree to comply with the mandatory requirements of the study which include delivering treatment services, conducting the experiment, and allowing staff to be trained and coached. All will occur throughout the duration of the project.
DFE sites will be selected based upon their commitment to: build knowledge and to implement the specified reentry program model or intervention with fidelity; adhere to all requirements of the RCT, including random assignment of cases to experimental and control conditions; collect and analyze program (participant) data in an automated fashion; demonstrate experience and a commitment to working collaboratively with research partners; and cooperate fully with the evaluation. By participating in this DFE, local, state, and tribal partners will have an opportunity to participate in a state-of-the-art effort to build new evidence in a critical area and to show the effectiveness of its program. A corollary benefit to the participating sites will be to build their capacity to more effectively implement reentry strategies to foster desistance of returning offenders from crime through improved supervision and coordination of services.
The key "system" participants in the model include:
  1. Parole officers, for those jurisdictions who do not have parole, this also includes community supervision officers who are working with offenders after release from prison;
  2. Parolee participants; for those jurisdictions who do not have parole, this also includes offenders who have been released from prison who are on community supervision; and
  3. Community-based service providers such as mental health, substance abuse, and other treatment services.
The key elements of this DFE model include:
  1. NIC's Integrated Case Management and Supervision Model (ICMS) and Crime Desistance training curriculum and interaction techniques for parole officers;
  2. Coordinated services to address criminogenic needs that create problem behaviors for offenders; and
  3. Cognitive behavioral therapy consisting of 4 MET (Motivational Enhancement Therapy) sessions followed by 25 T4C (Thinking for Change) sessions.

Training for the SCA DFE Sites

Parole Officer/Community Supervision Officer training will include:
  • Integrated case management and supervision for front-line POs in a 2-day classroom training with a blended curriculum;
  • A 1-day classroom training with a blended curriculum for selected POs who will serve as peer coaches/champions; and
  • A ½-day e-course on the desistance model that parole officers and service providers can use.
The training will include familiarization with the concepts of evidence-based correctional practice, such as the Stages of Change Model, cognitive restructuring, behavioral models, and training in structured skill building and graduated practice.Service Provider Training Service providers will receive training in: (1) Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), and (2) delivering NIC's Thinking for a Change cognitive behavior program. Service providers will also receive an e-course on crime desistance and its application in managing offenders in the community. The training and support for service providersat each site will include:
  • A 2-day classroom course on how to use Motivational Enhancement Therapy;
  • A 4-day classroom facilitator training on NIC's Thinking for a Change. NIC has recently revised the T4C training (see http://nicic.gov/T4C for full information); and
  • A ½-day e-course on crime desistance.
Service provider organizations and staff will also receive program integrity evaluation and feedback/coaching on a regular or as needed basis throughout the project. The training and support for POs and service providers at each site will be driven by the readiness and needs of the agency and will include:
  • Skills building for POs in: relationships, coaching, problem-solving, and motivational interviewing;
  • Role clarification and the use of authority; and
  • Using reinforcement and disapproval effectively.
  • Developing the agency's capacity in effective case management and parole desistance
  • Integrating Thinking for Change (T4C) into standard parole practice.

How the Model is Designed

Parole officers will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group (Group PO1) will receive desistance-based ICMS training and Coordinated Services training. The expectation is that the interaction between the parole officer and parolee will change after the officer has received the aforementioned training. The second group of parole officers (Group PO2) will not receive this training and will conduct "business as usual."
Parolee participants will be randomly assigned into one of three groups. The first group (Group RE1) will be supervised by Group PO1 and be required to complete MET sessions and the T4C curriculum. The MET and T4C components will be administered by the selected community-based service provider(s). Group RE1 will also receive assistance from Group PO1 to receive the appropriate "enhanced" coordinated community-based services. Enhanced services will be based on the needs of the offender as identified through risk/needs assessment processes.
The second parolee participant group (Group RE2) will be supervised by Group PO2 and be required to complete MET sessions and the T4C curriculum. The MET and T4C components will be administered by the selected community-based service provider(s).
Finally, the third parolee participant group (Group RE3), will be the baseline group. They will be supervised by Group PO2 and will receive "business as usual" services. The MET and T4C components are not included for this group. Please see the model diagram below for a more detailed explanation of each part of this DFE model.

Population of Interest

Parolees who are returning to the community from prison or offenders released from prison that are on community supervision will be recruited to participate in this study. This model will only focus on offenders who are assessed asmoderate- to high-risk for re-offending.
  • Offenders considered low- and very high-risk (i.e. Psychopaths, etc.) for re-offending will not be included in this experiment.
  • Sex offenders and offenders with serious mental illness will also not be included in this study.
  • Offender populations must be either ALL male or ALL female. Female reentry is an important and understudied issue.
  • BJA strongly encourages agencies that exclusively serve medium to high-risk female offenders to consider applying to become a DFE site.
  • Parolees must be under supervision for at least nine months to complete all of the required MET and T4C training sessions.

Eligibility for SCA DFE Sites

Sites selected to participate in this DFE will need to have an established reentry initiative already implemented. In the program narrative, applicants should describe their existing reentry initiative for their target jurisdiction(s), including both pre- and post-release reentry services. Please see page 13 of the solicitation for more information.

Evaluation of the SCA DFE

The evaluation for this DFE will be conducted by MDRC. Each DFE site will be expected to work closely with members of the evaluation team. The evaluation team is part of the DFE management "team" that will track site progress and identify problems in design and implementation. The evaluation team's function will be to ensure program model fidelity and to help each DFE site plan and implement the demonstration field experiment model. During planning and implementation, the evaluation team will help BJA, NIJ, and NIC ensure that each site stays true to the DFE model and the critical elements.

Applicant Webinars

Jurisdictions interested in participating in this DFE will have an opportunity to obtain additional information by participating in the SCA DFE Applicant webinars. Participation in these webinars is highly encouraged. This series of SCA DFE webinars will provide:
  1. An overview of the SCA DFE model.
  2. A description of the training for the parole officers and community service providers.
  3. A description of the motivational enhancement-criminal thinking interventions
  4. A detailed explanation of a site's requirements to be involved in a Randomized Control Trial, a process evaluation, and an impact evaluation.
  5. Answers to any questions and concerns about the intervention or the study.
For more information about the SCA DFE Applicant webinar please continue to visit this website, the dates and times of the upcoming webinars will be posted shortly. Or contact the BJA Justice Information Center at 1-877-927-5657 or via e-mail to JIC@telesishq.com.

Resources for the SCA DFE

The DFE will adopt the ICMS components focused on managing post-release offenders in the community. For more information on NIC's ICMS approach, please visit: nicic.gov/Downloads/PDF/Library/024393.pdf
For more information on Motivational Enhancement Therapy, please visit: www.maine.gov/dhhs/osa/cj/adult/dsat.htm.
The T4C program is used in prisons, jails, community corrections, probation, and parole supervision settings. Participants include adults and juveniles, males and females. Additional information on T4C can be found at:nicic.gov/t4c.

Questions

For questions about this DFE model, or for assistance with any other requirement of this solicitation, please contact the BJA Justice Information Center at 1-877-927-5657, via e-mail to JIC@telesishq.com, or by live web chat. The BJA Justice Information Center hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. eastern time, Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. eastern time on the solicitation close date.





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