Current Projects

Evaluation of the Salt Lake County Criminal Justice Pay for Success (PFS) Program: REACH

Study completion: 2023
Contact Person: Rob Butters or Kort Prince 

Pay for Success (PFS) is an innovative approach that leverages taxpayer risk by funding social service programs with private capital and ties payment for services to demonstrated outcomes through rigorous evaluation. Salt Lake County has partnered with the Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC), First Step House (FSH), Sorenson Impact Center, and a variety of community stakeholders to develop a PFS project to address high recidivism rates among offender populations. The Recovery, Engagement, Assessment, Career Development, and Housing (REACH) program was designed by FSH to serve high-risk, high-need adult male probationers with moderate to severe substance abuse disorders.

Specific program components include:

  • Evidence-based interventions specifically designed to address criminogenic factors that are tied to recidivism
  • Substance use disorder treatment
  • Employment support through job placement, education, and training
  • Support and case management to meet individual needs through benefits enrollment, health resources, and community engagement
  • Housing support

UCJC was selected as the Independent Evaluator on this $6.3 million six-year project, and is currently conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study to examine the program’s success improving criminal justice and employment outcomes.

Evaluation of the Salt Lake County Homelessness Pay for Success (PFS) Program: HNJ

Study completion: 2023
Contact Person: Rob Butters or Christian Sarver

Pay for Success (PFS) is an innovative approach that leverages taxpayer risk by funding social service programs with private capital and ties payment for services to demonstrated outcomes through rigorous evaluation. Salt Lake County has partnered with the Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC), The Road Home (TRH), Sorenson Impact Center, and a variety of community stakeholders to develop a PFS project to address homelessness within the community. Despite spending $52 million in Salt Lake County annually on the homelessness service system, there are still large numbers of persistently homeless individuals in the County. The persistently homeless are defined as those individuals who have spent between 90 and 364 days over the previous year in emergency shelters, on the streets, or otherwise tracked as being homeless. These individuals spend long periods of time in emergency shelter and are commonly booked into jail for low-level crimes related to homelessness (e.g., public intoxication, trespassing). Analysis of this population demonstrates that the persistently homeless are at clear risk of remaining homeless without support and are a strain on public resources. Despite their poor outcomes, these individuals are highly unlikely to receive the currently available services for the homeless.

To directly address this population and its unique issues, the County decided to use a Rapid Rehousing (RRH) approach to serve persistently homeless individuals through the Housing not Jail (HNJ) program. The HNJ program, developed by The Road Home (TRH), is based on the framework of the Housing First (HF) model, and was designed to move persistently homeless individuals out of the emergency shelter and into a stable housing placement. HNJ augments the RRH and HF models by incorporating a number of evidence-based practices and comprehensive wraparound services, such as intensive case management, behavioral health group services, and referral to employment services. The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) was selected as the Independent Evaluator on this $5.7 million six-year project, and is currently conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study to examine the program’s success improving housing stability, criminal justice, and behavioral health outcomes.

Evaluation of the State of Utah’s Pay for Success (PFS) Pilot Project: The ReSet Program

Study completion: 2020
Contact Person:  Rob Butters or Christian Sarver

In 2018, the state of Utah began piloting a criminal justice intervention targeting high-risk, high-need male parolees with co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illness. The ReSet program was developed by Odyssey House (OH) to provide integrated, comprehensive residential treatment that addresses substance use disorder, mental health, and criminogenic needs. Services are provided using a therapeutic community treatment model in a community-based residential program and specific program components include:

  • Evidence-based interventions specifically designed to address criminogenic factors that are tied to recidivism
  • Substance use disorder treatment
  • Employment support through job placement, education, and training
  • Support and case management to meet individual needs through benefits enrollment, health resources, and community engagement
  • Housing support

The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) was selected as the evaluator on this project and will be conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study to examine the program’s success improving criminal justice, employment, and behavioral health outcomes.

Evaluation of the Utah Assisted Outpatient Treatment (U-AOT) Program

Study completion: 2020
Contact Person: Christian Sarver

The Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) is a program that provides highly individualized outpatient treatment to adults who have Serious Mental Illness (SMI) or SMI and co-occurring substance use disorders, are civilly committed in the community, and have demonstrated difficulty adhering to prescribed treatment on a voluntary basis. This project is part of a four-year SAMHSA grant awarded to the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) is providing consultation to DSAMH and program staff, regular reporting on participant demographics and short-term outcomes, and evaluating the impact of the program on treatment, health, housing, and criminal justice outcomes.

Year 1 Report 

Evaluation of the Utah Supported Employment Transition (U-SETP) Program

Study completion: 2019
Contact Person: Christian Sarver

The Utah Supported Employment Transition (U-SETP) program uses the evidence-based model of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) to provide supported employment services to adults with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and co-occurring substance use disorders. This project is part of a three-year SAMHSA grant awarded to the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) is providing consultation to DSAMH and program staff, regular reporting on participant demographics and short-term outcomes, and evaluating the impact of the program on treatment, health, and criminal justice outcomes.

Year 1 Report 

 

Evaluation of Field-Generated Innovations in Addressing Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation

Study completion: 2019
Contact Person: Ally Walker or Kort Prince

In 2017, Utah Legal Services (ULS) was awarded an Office of Crime Victims’ Field-Generated Innovations in Addressing Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation grant. The five objectives of the grant are to:

  1. Increase reporting of elder abuse and financial exploitation
  2. Reduce exploitation of high-risk victims
  3. Increase rate of Adult Protective Services (APS) referrals for prosecution
  4. Reduce danger of remaining in unsafe home environments
  5. Reduce misuse of powers of attorney

Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) research staff are working with program staff to design a variety of pre-post tests and surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of ULS developed educational materials, interventions, and training protocols.

Employment, Fatherhood, and Reentry Study

Study completion: 2020
Contact Person: Christian Sarver

This study has two major purposes: 

  1. Develop an understanding of the perceived barriers to obtaining meaningful employment for fathers transitioning out of incarceration through in-person interviews
  2. Conduct a preliminary evaluation of the Invest in Dads Too pilot program for fathers reintegrating into the community

Taken together, the findings from this study have the potential to inform policymakers and service providers in order to enhance programs and services aimed at increasing employment opportunities for offenders upon reentry into the community.

Evaluation of the 24/7 Sobriety Pilot Program

Study completion: 2021
Contact Person: Christian Sarver or Kort Prince

Beginning July 1, 2018, repeat DUI offenders in certain Weber County courts may be enrolled in a new program that will allow them to maintain their driving privileges but require them to abstain from alcohol and drugs for a full year. The new 24/7 Sobriety Program, which is being piloted by the Weber County Sheriff’s Office, aims to reduce repeat DUI recidivism.  Despite some evidence that suggests the program may be effective, methodological limitations of past studies make it difficult to determine whether the 24/7 program is actually more effective than current practices.  As such, DPS has contracted with the Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) to provide consultation and a three-year evaluation of the 24/7 Sobriety Pilot Program.

Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Community-Based Arrest and Referral Assessment

Study completion: 2019
Contact Person:  Kort Prince

Despite collecting and reporting Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) relative rate index (RRI) information since 2005 in Utah, little is actually known about the meaning of changes in the RRIs over time. The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) will conduct a data-driven, mixed methods assessment of disproportionality in the RRIs for the following Utah law enforcement agencies (LEAs):

  • Salt Lake City Police Department
  • Unified Police Department
  • West Valley City Police Department
  • Ogden City Police Department
  • Logan City Police Department
  • St. George Police Department

The data-driven approach will involve analyzing arrest and referral data for each agency and examining changes in RRIs over time in order to identify notable, significant periods of success or failure in reducing RRIs. Surveys will be distributed widely among law enforcement, juvenile court personnel, juvenile probation, and other community stakeholders to identify the current attitudes and practices in each jurisdiction. Semi-structured interviews will also be conducted with a sample of stakeholders to extract more detail from the information gleaned from surveys and to identify awareness of existing policies and practices that might contribute to the observed RRI trends. After analyzing results from arrest and referral data, surveys, and interviews, a final report will synthesize this information as well as provide a literature review of current best practices and recommendations.

Housing Support and Stability Program (HSSP) Families Project

Study completion: 2023
Contact Person:  Christian Sarver

This project was part of a 5-year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant that was awarded to The Road Home (TRH) to develop and evaluate the Housing Support and Stability (HSSP) Families Project. The HSSP Families team will assist 150 homeless families with a Substance Use Disorder or Co-occurring Disorder to stabilize in permanent housing with Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) packages of financial assistance and multidisciplinary wrap-around supports, which will include: case management, behavioral health treatment for parents and children with an emphasis on access to developmentally appropriate services, and a focus on increasing mainstream benefits and employment.  The HSSP Families program incorporates Rapid Re-housing, Trauma Informed Care, Motivational Interviewing, Harm Reduction and Critical Time Intervention in a setting-flexible service delivery model.

Objectives include:

  1. Helping families obtain and stabilize in permanent housing
  2. Providing a coordinated approach to accessing mainstream benefits for all family members
  3. Facilitating access to employment supports
  4. Connecting children to developmentally appropriate supports
  5. Connecting all family members to behavioral health supports, as needed

The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) will serve as the evaluator on this multi-agency team will conduct a thorough evaluation of the program to determine the impact of the program on the following outcomes:

  • Housing placements and retention
  • Benefits/health insurance enrollment and retention
  • Behavioral health treatment admission and completion
  • Employment type, length, and salary
  • Children’s receipt of services, including type and length
  • Measures of parent and child well-being

During the final year of the project, UCJC will compare outcomes between HSSP Families participants and a propensity score matched sample of homeless families who are not enrolled in the program.

 

Upcoming Projects

Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) Certification and Program Evaluation Project

Contact Person: Christian Sarver or Erin Worwood 

 

Evaluation of the Social Work Support Public Defender Demonstration Program

Contact Person: Jeremiah Jaggers

Last Updated: 11/27/18