The establishment of CDHS occurred as an outgrowth of funding
opportunities initiated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
In an effort to develop innovative approaches in the treatment of drug
abuse, NIDA established its R18 funding mechanism, an initiative that
would support 10 large-scale projects across the nation at funding
levels of up to $1 million per year for five years. Two of the ten
projects were awarded to Professor Inciardi and the University of
Delaware. These became the financial basis for the founding of CDHS.
And, importantly, because a secondary purpose of the R18 projects was to
create new drug abuse treatment slots, for several years in the early
1990s, CDHS was the largest provider of residential drug treatment
services for offenders in the State of Delaware.
In 2008, the leadership of CDHS was divided into two Co-Directors, Professors Inciardi and Christy Visher.
In 2009, after Inciardi's passing, Visher became the sole Director.
Professor Visher came to the University of Delaware from the Urban
Institute with 25 years of experience in policy research on crime and
justice issues. Her research interests focus on criminal careers,
criminal justice evaluation, communities and crime, violence, and
substance abuse. She has published widely on crime and justice topics,
including prisoner reentry, crime prevention strategies, the arrest
process, youthful offending, incapacitation, and use of drug testing in
the criminal justice system.
Previously, Dr. Visher was science advisor to the Director of the
National Institute of Justice, the research agency of the U.S.
Department of Justice. She began her professional career at the National
Research Council, Committee on Law and Justice, as a postdoctoral
fellow and later, research associate, with the Panel on Criminal
Careers. Her research has appeared in a variety of scholarly journals
including Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Law
& Society Review, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, American
Sociological Review, Social Problems, and Justice Quarterly.
Steven M. Martin, Associate Director of CDHS, became associated with CDHS in 1989 as a
Scientist and participated in the establishment of the Center. He worked
with Professor Inciardi in the development of the NIDA-funded research
as well as generating his own portfolio of projects funded by state and
federal sources. Martin was the Principal Investigator for a NIDA study
of improving HIV interventions for Probationers and, among other
projects, developed a model continuum of HIV services for
offenders in the State of Delaware.
In 2013, Dr. Barret Michalec became the Assistant
Director of Health Research for CDHS. He came to UD in 2009 after
graduating with a PhD in Sociology from Emory University. His research
interests include: socialization and professionalization processes of health
occupation students, interactions in the health care setting, patient
experiences of health and illness, and disparities in health.