CJ-DATS 2:  Improving Best Practices in Assessment and Case Planning for Offenders: Organizational Process Improvement Intervention (OPII)

Christy A. Visher, Principal Investigator
Steven S. Martin, Co-Investigator
Daniel J. O’Connell, Co-Investigator
Sami Abdel-Salam, Project Director
Laura Monico, Graduate Research Assistant

Initiated: 2009

Funding Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Project Summary:

The primary goal of the Improving Best Practices in Assessment and Case Planning for Offenders: Organizational Process Improvement Intervention (OPII) is to evaluate the effects of an organizational strategy to improve the processes of risk and needs assessment of offenders, development of case plans, and transfer of this information to community-based treatment agencies, and the activation and access of services specified in the case plans. The target organizations participating in this study will be correctional agencies involved in the reentry and/or diversion of adult offenders to the community, including prisons, jails, probation and parole, and community-based substance abuse treatment agencies. Four core dimensions of process improvement have been conceptualized as critical in the string of activities associated with the process of assessment, case planning, and service referral for offenders with substance use disorders: Measurement and Instrumentation, Integration with Case Plan, Conveyance and Utility, and Service Activation. CDAS is conducting this protocol with the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

The organizational intervention to be evaluated in this protocol will be the use of a Local Change Team that identifies critical needs in the current assessment-case planning-service referral process; develops a strategic action plan; and, carries out that strategic action plan. Local Change Teams will be assisted in conducting an organizational self-assessment of the quality of their existent implementation in each of these four dimensions and then identifying and implementing specific, targeted process improvement goals in one or more of these four dimensions. An external Facilitator will assist and support the Change Team. The project is expected to be completed in 2014.