The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has tapped the expertise of Case Western Reserve University’s Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.
The center will evaluate the effectiveness Ohio’s $5 million statewide pilot addiction treatment program for individuals referred for treatment by the courts.
“The research team at the Begun Center has a long and distinguished record of research and evaluation in the area of drug treatment courts, medication assisted treatment and offender reentry programs,” according to the state’s announcement.
The treatment program is described as a “certified drug court program,” where municipal and county courts establish special courts to hear drug-related cases involving opioids, alcohol or both to decide if the individual would benefit from treatment instead of incarceration.
The pilot program will start in 2014 in six counties: Allen, Crawford, Franklin, Hardin, Hocking and Mercer.
The legislation establishing the program called for the department to select “a nationally recognized criminal justice research institute with extensive experience in evaluation of criminal justice and substance abuse progress to develop an evaluation plan for the pilot program.”
The project began in the late fall of 2014 and will run through June 30, 2015. Mark Singer, co-director of the center and principal investigator, and Margaret Baughman Sladky, principal investigator and project director, will direct a research team of senior- and mid-level researchers to create an evaluation process to collect and analyze data.
The evaluation involves assessing how the treatment program addresses the addiction problems of 500 offenders. Each participant will be assessed for participation and monitoring. Those accepted will have individualized plans with specific goals and objectives.