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Recidivism Reduction Employment Project
  • Daniel J. O’Connell, Principal Investigator
  • Christy A. Visher, Advisor
  • Laura Mutis, Research Associate

The goal of the Recidivism Reduction Employment Project is to create a seamless comprehensive evidence based employment strategy in the state. The Center for Drug and Health Studies will assist the state in completing employment system mapping and create an inventory of employment programs; conduct a minimum of 300 statewide surveys to criminal justice involved individuals, employers and criminal justice professionals and compile results. The CDHS team will assist the DCRC in determining best practices for reentering persons in the area of reentry.

Justice Reinvestment Initiative - Training and Program Evaluation
  • Daniel J. O'Connell, Principal Investigator
  • Steven S. Martin, Co-Investigator
  • TaLisa Carter, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Initiation Date: 2014; Funding Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance funded VERA Institute who then funded the Delaware Criminal Justice Council

In July of 2011, Delaware Governor Jack Markell issued Executive Order Number 27, creating the Justice Reinvestment Task Force charged with the task of identifying new strategies to reduce crime and recidivism, protect and support victims, hold offenders accountable, and focus efforts on offenders that present the greatest threat. The Task Force fell under the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The JRI process utilizes a data-driven approach to assess factors driving changes in correctional populations, implements policy recommendations focused on reducing correctional populations and expenditures, and measures the extent to which implemented changes achieve the desired effect. Ideally, cost savings from reduced expenditures are reinvested in ways to further reduce populations and costs. JRI works through two phases: 1) Planning and 2) Implementation. The Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) and Delaware Criminal Justice Council (CJC) worked with technical assistance providers from the VERA Institute of Justice to develop a set of recommendations to improve DOC’s effectiveness. The Center for Drug and Health Studies will conduct evaluation and trainings throughout the implementation process. 

I-ADAPT: Individual Assessment, Discharge and Planning Team
  • Daniel J. O'Connell, Principal Investigator 
  • Christy A. Visher, Co-Investigator 
  • Steven S. Martin, Co-Investigator
  • Tanya Whittle, Graduate Research Assistant
  • Judi Buchanan and Grant Bacon, Interviewers

In 2009, the Delaware secretaries of the Department of Labor, Corrections, Health & Social Services, Education, and Housing were charged by Governor Jack Markell to develop a prisoner reentry plan to reduce the number of repeat offenders and crime in the state of Delaware. The five agencies collaborated as a workgroup and other stakeholders to develop a reentry plan for individuals leaving Delaware prisons. The workgroup developed and proposed the “Individual Assessment, Discharge, and Planning Team” (I-ADAPT) process. This project conducted a process and outcome evaluation of I-ADAPT using surveys of participants, qualitative interviews with probation officers and I-ADAPT personnel, statistical analyses of agency data, and observations of I-ADAPT meetings. Limited recidivism analyses were also conducted. A final report was submitted in 2016 which suggested numerous improvements.


Hero Help Program Evaluation
  • Daniel J. O’Connell, Principal Investigator
  • Shannon Streisel, Graduate Research Assistant

The Hero Help Program is a “treatment in lieu of incarceration” program that aims to provide treatment to individuals who are addicted to substances and have had contact with, or are at risk of being in contact with, the criminal justice system.  In 2018, the New Castle Police Department hired a Hero Help Coordinator to conduct overdose outreach and to provide assistance in navigating the process of getting clean.  The Center for Drug and Health Studies is responsible for conducting a program evaluation which will compare pre- and post- outcome measures from the date the Hero Help Coordinator was hired, as well as a concurrent control group comparison.  This project includes evaluation planning, data collection, and analyses.  At completion of the grant period a final report will be presented.

Hero Help Program Grant Report

Final Report – CDC Data Analyst Position

Victim Services Needs Assessment
  • ​Ronet Bachman, Principle Investigator
  • Daniel J. O'Connell, Co-Investigator
This Delaware Criminal Justice Council funded project reviewed services available to victims of crime in the state of Delaware by surveying existing victim service providers. The project then assessed victims' service needs as identified by Delaware service providers. This needs assessment pilot will inform a larger project that surveys crime victims.
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  • Center for Drug & Health Studies
  • 257 E. Main Street Suite 110
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-6107