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 Research & Evaluation Summaries

Current Projects

October 2006 – September 2010: Evaluation of the Recovery Network of New York
The Recovery Network of New York, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is a peer/member-driven program that operates in Syracuse, Albany, and Rochester, New York.  It provides services to recovering people who have histories of substance abuse and criminal justice system involvement.  These services include counseling, leadership development, assistance with civic restoration, and employment and educational services.  Evaluation activities consist of investigating and reporting on the program’s implementation process through the analysis of data collected from observation, interviews, focus groups, surveys, and programmatic records.
(Elaine Wolf, Principal Evaluator; Vincent Love and Samuel Rowser, Senior Peer Evaluators; Allen Moxley, Peer Evaluator)

October 2006 – September 2010: Evaluation of the Crossroads for Men Program
The Brooklyn-based Crossroads for Men program, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, provides comprehensive drug treatment, mental health, HIV prevention, employment, and transitional advocacy services for men returning to the community from jail and prison.  CCA’s evaluation activities consist of conducting process and outcome evaluations through the analysis of data collected from observation, interviews, surveys, and programmatic records.
(Elaine Wolf, Principal Evaluator; Meredith Dank, Research Associate)

October 2004 – September 2008: Evaluation of the Crossroads to Home Program
The Manhattan-based Crossroads to Home program, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, provides comprehensive drug treatment, mental health, health, employment, and housing services for undomiciled women returning to the community from jail and prison.  CCA’s evaluation activities consist of conducting process and outcome evaluations through the analysis of data collected from observation, interviews, focus groups, surveys, and programmatic records.
(Elaine Wolf, Principal Evaluator; Meredith Dank, Research Associate)

October 2007 – September 2010 : Evaluation of the Connections Mentoring Program
The Syracuse-based Connections mentoring program, operated in partnership with the Syracuse City School District (SCSD) and funded by the US Department of Education, provides mentoring services to the SCSD’s highest need 7th and 8th grade students – those who have been suspended from, or who are at clear risk of becoming suspended from, mainstream schools.  Evaluation activities consist of investigating and reporting on the program’s outcomes and implementation process through the analysis of data collected from observation, surveys, interviews, and programmatic and School District records.
(Principal Evaluator: Elaine Wolf)

 October 2007 – September 2010: Evaluation of the REAL (Reintegration and Empowering a Life) Program
The Syracuse-based REAL program is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is administered by CCA in collaboration with Crouse Chemical Dependency Services, On Point for College, and Greater Syracuse Works (GSW).  It provides treatment, employment, and education services to Syracuse members of the SAMHSA-funded Recovery Network of New York.  Evaluation activities consist of investigating and reporting on the program’s outcomes and implementation process (according to a Continuous Quality Improvement model) through the analysis of data collected from GPRA interviews, programmatic records, a survey of consumer satisfaction, focus groups, observation, and semi-structured interviews with staff and participants.
(Elaine Wolf, Principal Evaluator; Emily NaPier, Research Associate)

October 2007 – September 2010: Evaluation of the Strategies for Success: Family Centered Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents Program
The Strategies for Success Adolescent Treatment Program is
funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and is administered by CCA in collaboration with Crouse Chemical Dependency Services, the Syracuse City School District, and the Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility.  It provides, using the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach, family-centered substance abuse treatment services to adolescents aged 15-18 who are at high risk of dropping out of school and of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system.  Evaluation activities consist of investigating and reporting on the program’s outcomes and implementation process through the analysis of data collected from GPRA interviews, the GAIN (Global Appraisal of Individual Needs) protocol, programmatic records, focus groups with participants, observation, and semi-structured interviews with key administrative and operational informants and with a sample of participants’ parents/guardians.
(Elaine Wolf, Principal Evaluator; Emily NaPier, Research Associate)

October 2004-September 2008: Evaluation of the “Self Development: Reentry” Program
The Self Development Program, funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, provides transitional services to people in prison, aged 16-24 at the Onondaga County (New York) Correctional Facility. CCA's evaluation activities consist of conducting process and outcome evaluations through the analysis of data collected from observation, interviews, focus groups, surveys, and programmatic records.
(Principal Investigator: Elaine Wolf; Research Associate, Emily NaPier)


Completed Projects

July 2004-June 2005: Civic Engagement and School Safety: A Youth-Led Research Project
This project is funded by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), sponsored by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts. It is designed to enhance our understanding of the relationship between the engagement of parents and students in Parent Teacher Associations and the extent to which schools are safe places to work and learn. The project is led by CCA youth (aged 13-16), under the supervision of Youth Services staff, and depends on the collection of data from focus groups, observation, surveys, and interviews. Students are being coached in research methods through a contract with a graduate student in sociology at Syracuse University.
(Directors: Elaine Wolf and Pamela Weinberg)

October 2004-September 2006: Family Systems-Based Intervention for Highly At-Risk youth and Their Families
Justice Strategies is conducting this evaluation for the City of Syracuse which received funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Justice Strategies will provide formative and summative evaluation services. Analyses will be based on data collected through observation, interviews, and programmatic records.
(Principal Investigator: Elaine Wolf; Project Coordinator: Roxanne Hill)

January 2003-March 2004: Pathways Out: Narratives of Experience and Transformation Among Women Offenders in a Drug Treatment Program
This research is funded by the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation of New York. Pathways is a prospective and qualitative and longitudinal study of drug treatment experiences and trajectories among women attending CCA's gender-specific drug treatment program for court-mandated women.
(Principal Investigator: Kathryn Sowards)

October 2002-October 2003: Evaluation of the “Health Connection: Improving Health Care Access for Women in the Criminal Justice System” Program
This evaluation is funded by the Office of Minority Health (US Department of Health and Human Services) to create a training program for peer health advocates to serve women involved in the criminal justice system who are clients in CCA's Crossroads drug treatment program for court-mandated women in Manhattan.
(Principal Investigator: Kathryn Sowards)

October 2000-December 2003: Evaluation of the Targeted Capacity Expansion/HIV Program (TCE)
The TCE/HIV Program is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to enhance services and expand treatment slots in communities heavily affected by AIDS and HIV. It serves women in CCA's Crossroads drug treatment program for court-mandated women.
(Principal Investigator: Kathryn Sowards)

February 2002-October 2006: A Case Study of the Syracuse Recovery Community
The Syracuse Recovery Community, funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), is a members-driven program that seeks to provide services to ex-offenders in recovery from substance abuse. The evaluation consists of a case study, or history, of the program that is delivered to CSAT in annual installments. The format of these case studies is governed by key questions posed for the case study by CSAT, and their contents are informed by observation of program activities and the convening of focus groups by members of the program's case study team, which includes two members of the Recovery Community.
(Principal Investigator: Elaine Wolf)

August 2002-March 2005: Evaluation of the “Self Development: Reentry” Program

The Self Development Program, funded by the US Department of Labor, provides transitional services to people in prison, aged 16-24 at the Onondaga County (New York) Correctional Facility. CCA's evaluation services consist of assisting in the development of a database that will track participants and program activities and of being a liaison between the program and a national evaluation team.
(Principal Investigator: Elaine Wolf)

December 2000-September 2004: Evaluation of the Strategies for Success Program
Strategies for Success delivers transitional planning services to students in grades 7 and 8 who attend either of the Syracuse City School District's two alternative schools for suspended students. The evaluation has consisted of the collection and analysis of data from observation of program activities; interviews with staff and program participants; pre-post surveys of participants' prosocial attitudes and behavior; and programmatic records. A major component of the outcome analysis of suspensions, academic performance, and attendance is based upon official School District data. The study employed a quasi-experimental design and found that the program is effective in improving grades and attendance rates and in reducing future rates of suspension and assignments to alternative school.
(Principal Investigator: Elaine Wolf)

June 2002-July 2003: Strengthening Partnerships -- Changing Systems Through Research and Practice
CCA administered the planning and delivery of a conference--held on November 21, 2002 in Cazenovia, New York--that was designed to promote and develop working relationships among practitioners and researchers and to identify research topics and funding opportunities that can inform and improve policy and practice for prevention and treatment services. The conference brought together approximately 60 researchers and practitioners in the alcoholism and substance abuse prevention and treatment communities and related fields. The project produced a Conference Report that summarizes the presentations of four guest speakers and eight break-out discussion groups that examined the process of building collaborative practice/research relationships and implementing collaborative projects. This was a project of the Central New York Practice Research Network (PRN), a member of the New York State Practice Improvement Collaborative (PIC), a joint project of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York State (ASAP), an initiative of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The project was co-sponsored by Northeast Addiction Technology Transfer Center (NeATTC), a CSAT project managed by the Institute for Research Education and Practice in the Addictions (www.ireta.org/attc); The Zurenda Fund, School of Social Work, College of Human Services and Health Professions, Syracuse University; Department of Sociology, Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Syracuse University; and the Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Syracuse University.
(Project Directors: Elaine Wolf, Barry Lentz, Paul Caldwell, and Rick Kinsella. Project Coordinator: Susan Adair)

March 2002-June 2003: Evaluation of a Bioethics Training Seminar for Correctional Health Care Nurses
This evaluation was funded by the Central New York Community Foundation to assess the impact of a new training program on nurses' awareness and management of ethical situations encountered when practicing in correctional settings. Nurses were surveyed before and after the training and the findings suggested that the training sessions increased awareness and were most helpful for nurses who needed boosts of confidence the most – newer nurses and nurses experiencing the most work-related stress. Staffing conditions represented one of the most frequently cited barriers to providing the best care possible.
(Principal Investigator: Kathryn Sowards)

January 2002-December 2002: Evaluation of PreCISE
PreCISE, operating out of CCA's Brooklyn office, is funded by the Medical and Health Research Association (MHRA) of New York City/HIV CARE (Comprehensive AIDS resources Emergency) Services and delivers HIV prevention services in the form of educational and support groups to adult men and women who have some history of criminal justice system involvement. In order to document the program's implementation process and outcomes, evaluation staff observed groups and outreach activities, conducted focus groups, and analyzed satisfaction survey data. The project's main findings were that the program provides an important, and free (non-Medicaid) service, especially to people who would otherwise be isolated, by virtue of its physical juxtaposition with other CCA services, such as acupuncture and other HIV prevention programs. Recommendations mainly focused on administrative enhancements that could serve to strengthen the program's ability to achieve, and demonstrate the achievement of, its goals.
(Principal Investigator: Elaine Wolf)

January 2002-December 2002: Evaluation of Young Women's CHOICES
Young Women's CHOICES, funded by the Medical and Health Research Association (MHRA) of New York City, delivers HIV prevention services in CCA's Brooklyn office to adolescent girls who have been court-mandated to CCA. These services consist of educational and support groups. In order to document the program's implementation process and outcomes, evaluation staff observed outreach activities; conducted focus groups; and analyzed data from surveys of satisfaction and of knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. The project's main findings were that the peer education component were a great asset to the program and that the program provides a supportive, caring atmosphere. The report's recommendations emphasized ways in which the program might be adjusted administratively to strengthen its ability to document its implementation.
(Principal Investigator: Elaine Wolf)

July 2001-June 2002: Research on Factors Affecting the Recovery of Participants of a Drug Treatment Court
This research is a project of the Central New York Practice Research Network (PRN) and funded by the New York State Practice Improvement Collaborative (PIC), a joint project of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York State (ASAP), an initiative of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). It examined the relationships between drug court graduates' patterns of recovery and factors associated with their backgrounds and programmatic experiences. Findings indicated that youthful marijuana users were particularly strongly associated with chronic failures to comply with drug court requirements and that immediacy of treatment has no apparent effect on the likelihood of successful recovery, despite its salience in the drug court model.
(Principal Investigator: Elaine Wolf)

July 2000-June 2002: Evaluation of the Employment and Transitional Services (EATS) Program
EATS, which operates out of CCA's Manhattan office, is funded through a block grant to the New York State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives and provides employment preparation services to women whose incomes are within 200% of the poverty line. Most women served by EATS are referred to it by CCA's Crossroads drug treatment program for court-mandated women. Evaluation activities focused in Year 1 on the program's implementation and identifying ways in which the program could be strengthened. Subsequent analysis has focused on identifying program outcomes, specifically clients' increased readiness for change, consistent with a transtheoretical perspective; their achievement of intermediate goals (e.g., completion of GED preparation courses and parenting workshops); and their ability to attain and sustain employment. A few lessons learned from four participant success stories are the importance of building trust, being prepared to encounter a wide range of needs in EATS clients (both within and among individuals), understanding the barriers to clients’ becoming self-sufficient, and never underestimating the power of “small” achievements to increase a client’s self-confidence.
(Principal Investigator: Elaine Wolf)

August 2000-February 2002: Evaluation of the Oswego County Drug Treatment Court (OCDTC)
The OCDTC was funded by the Drug Courts Program Office (US Department of Justice) and by the New York State Unified Court System. CCA conducted a process evaluation of the court's first 18 months of operations by collecting and analyzing observational, interview, and programmatic data. The project's main findings were that the court was faithful to its mission, was creative in problem solving during the first phase of its operations, utilized training effectively, effectively matched participants with treatment providers, was well-integrated with the wider community, and realized its goal of reducing substance use among its participants. Recommendations included the creation of an alumni group and the enhancement of its internal reporting capability.
(Principal Investigator: Elaine Wolf)

January 1997-September 2001: Evaluation of the Syracuse Community Treatment Court (SCTC)
The SCTC was funded by the Drug Courts Program Office (US Department of Justice) and by the New York State Unified Court System. CCA conducted a comprehensive evaluation that spanned its initial implementation, in January 1997, through the conclusion of federal funding in 2001. The evaluation consisted of the collection and analysis of observational, interview, and programmatic monitoring data. Questions addressed the extent to which (a) the program was being implemented in accordance with its design and (b) it was achieving its goals. Outcomes identified in the final report, submitted in September 2001, were that 15 drug-free babies had been born to participants, that participants demonstrated a reduced involvement in the criminal justice system both during and following their participation in the program, that participants demonstrated a reduction in their use of illegal drugs during and following their participation in the program, and that most graduates were either employed or enrolled in school at the time they left the program.
(Principal Investigator: Elaine Wolf)

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