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Evaluation Advisory Group Meeting Notes

Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs
Office of Applied Research and Analysis
Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000
Evaluation Advisory Group (EAG)
Meeting Notes
April 26, 2001


Samantha Cannon facilitated this meeting, which was the third full group meeting held since beginning in February. (Susan Nisenbaum was unable to attend due to budget hearings.) Samantha introduced Dr. William Ford, a technical assistance contractor from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, who attended to provide assistance and guidance to the group on the evaluation.

Briefing on Statewide Advisory Group Activities

Jennie Verardo, Staff Services Manager, Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Section, Office of Criminal Justice Collaboration, of the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, gave a brief update on the activities of the Statewide Advisory Group, which convened a subcommittee on April 11, 2001. Jennie explained the purpose of the subcommittee, which was to provide recommendations to the Statewide Advisory Group on Assessment and Data to be utilized by counties, local governments, treatment providers, and related entities implementing the SACPA program.

The subcommittee meeting resulted in the following recommendations:

  • First, there needs to be a joint assessment between the treatment provider and probation/parole, and a later reassessment, and
  • Second, that the data collection should be simple, reasonable and identified by June 1, so that implementation can move forward.

An overriding concern is that data will be difficult or impossible to collect after-the-fact if the basic data elements are not identified prior to implementation. In addition, there was consensus in the subcommittee that collaboration should occur between the Statewide Advisory Group and the Evaluation Advisory Group on minimum data elements that must be collected beginning July 1, 2001.

The Statewide Advisory Group will meet briefly during the Technical Assistance Conference, which will be held in San Diego on May 16, and the next full meeting is scheduled for June 13 in Sacramento.

University Selection Process

Samantha briefly summarized the process of selecting the public university to conduct the longitudinal study required by legislative language. DADP received four proposals: UCLA, UCSF, UC-Riverside, and CalPoly at San Luis Obispo.

An interdepartmental team, composed of David Illig, Laverne Low-Nakashima, Len Marowitz, and Samantha Cannon will score the proposals, and if the scoring is close, will conduct interviews of the top two. It is anticipated that the scoring and selection process will be completed by mid-May, that the Inter-agency agreement will be finalized as soon as possible, and that the chosen university will be in attendance at the next meeting.

Evaluation Success/Data Collection Issues

The group discussed the concept of success in the context of outcomes. Some of the elements of success in a treatment environment might include: sobriety, employment, improved parenting skills, healthier life styles, attendance in treatment, decreasing test failures, and decreasing recidivism, among others. The success of Proposition 36 may be measured by cost savings and offsets, and by whether the intent of the legislation is met.

The group discussed: "What can be determined in the short term?" Collecting and analyzing data that is already available from other sources for this evaluation, (such as CADDS and DATAR data); and increasing the data gathered by providing a simple, one-page form that will be completed at intake by court, treatment and probation/parole systems seems the most efficient method. The form should be customized for each type of user, and should include:

  • a unique identifier, (the CII number, if available),
  • the complete name of the client,
  • the date of birth,
  • gender,
  • race,
  • ethnicity,
  • current charges, (felony or misdemeanor),
  • custodial status,
  • eligibility status, PC1000, Prop 36, or Drug Court;
  • whether currently on probation or parole,
  • prior criminal history,
  • prior drug related convictions,
  • prior felony convictions,
  • present zip code (last 30 days), or if currently homeless.

The group also discussed a matrix, developed by Samantha, which listed proposed baseline, year one, and year two and beyond questions, data proposed, and possible data sources. In addition the matrix identified the questions as having been proposed by the group, and as process and implementation concerns.

Next Steps

The next scheduled meeting will be held on May 24, 2001, in the first floor conference room, at ADP, 1700 K Street, Sacramento. The meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. This meeting will focus on the longitudinal study to be conducted by the selected university.


The Honorable Becky Dugan, Riverside County Superior Court, Robert Mimura, Executive Director, Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee, Peter Keifer, Manager, Administrative Office of the Courts, Tom Avey, Director, Progress House, Francis Yuen, Associate Professor, Division of Social Work, CSUS, William Ford, Ph.D., Project Director, Health Systems Research, Inc., Sushma Taylor, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center Point, Inc., Steve Ralph, San Diego County Probation, Douglas Longshore, Ph.D., UCLA - Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, John Berecochea, Research Chief, Department of Corrections, Len Marowitz, Manager, Department of Justice Statistics Center, Toni Moore, Alcohol and Drug Administrator, Sacramento County, Richard Speiglman, Ph.D., Public Health Institute, Sally Jew, Research Program Specialist, Office of Applied Research and Analysis, Samantha Cannon, Research Manager, Office of Applied Research and Analysis, Patricia Ebener, Ph.D., RAND, Jennie Verardo, Staff Services Manager, Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Section, Office of Criminal Justice Collaboration, Jorge Lopez, MPA, Children and Families Futures, Judi Morris, Research Analyst, Office of Applied Research and Analysis.