Choice Research Associates
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Our goal is to measure your results in order to deliver quantifiable improvement.


Maryland Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Project

The Maryland Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment
(SBIRT) Project is a five-year, $9.7 M cooperative agreement awarded on
8/1/14 by the U.S. Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to Maryland Department of Health and
Mental Hygiene, Behavioral Health Administration (BHA). Behavioral Health
System Baltimore (BHSB), Baltimore City's behavioral health authority
(mental health and substance abuse) was selected by BHA to administer the
project. Since 2010, BHSB has administered projects in which the Mosaic
Group led the implementation of SBIRT services in 24 community health
centers, 2 hospitals, 5 high schools, 2 local health department clinics, and
other locations. In 2015, Choice Research Associates was chosen as the
Project Evaluator to provide training and evaluation services related to
implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) survey
and administer the Web Infrastructure for Treatment Services (WITS) computer
software utilized to capture GPRA data.

Montgomery County Comprehensive Reentry Project (CORP)

Choice Research Associates was the evaluation partner with Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, on their application for funding under the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BIA) Second Chance Act Reentry Program for Adult Offenders with Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders. The project, awarded in October 2015, facilitates close collaboration among the critical parties along the criminal justice continuum (from arrest, to detainment, to release) in order to close existing service gaps for clients who suffer from co-occurring disorders. This, in turn, should reduce the continued cycling of these individuals in and out of the jail. Choice Research Associates is utilizing the Program Development Evaluation (PDE) method to evaluate the project.

Community Mediation Maryland Prisoner Re Entry Program

This unique program, evaluated by Choice Research Associates since 2008, provides incarcerated individuals the opportunity to mediate with those they feel are important to them prior to release. Mediation allows the individuals involved an opportunity to discuss past difficulties and share plans for the future. The program is operated in many correctional facilities across the state of Maryland, as well as several local detention centers.

In November 2014, Choice Research Associates completed an in-depth recidivism analysis of the CMM program (to follow up the April 2013 analysis described below). The November 2014 analysis shows that mediation is effective at reducing recidivism measured as arrest, conviction, sentenced to incarceration, and returned to Department of Corrections for a violation or new arrest. See a snapshot of the mediation recidivism evaluation results here and the full report here. Dr. Charkoudian, CMM Executive Director, was interviewed in January of 2015 about the program. Here is the link to that interview.

In April 2013, Choice Research Associates completed a recidivism analysis of the CMM program. See a snapshot of the mediation recidivism evaluation results here and the full report here. The Baltimore Sun published an editorial in October 2013 highlighting the program.

An article in Corrections Today, co authored by Lorig Charkoudian, Ph.D., of Community Mediation Maryland, Bonita L. Cosgrove and Dennis P. Ferrell from the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections Services and Shawn Flower of Choice Research Associates, highlights the program and the role of family and pro-social relationships on recidivism. See published article here. Community Mediation Maryland also created a reentry mediation website which includes more information on the program as well as interviews with former participants. See DPSCS Newsletter here.

District of Columbia Show Up Stand Out Community-Based Truancy Reduction Project

Since 2012, Choice Research Associates has been awarded an annual grant from the District of Columbia Justice Grants Administration (JGA) to evaluate the Show Up, Stand Out (SUSO) Community-Based Truancy Reduction Project. This project involves conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the SUSO grant initiative designed to reduce truancy for youth from kindergarten through eighth grade through the provision of family case management services and/or engaging youth into participation programs in middle schools. This is a joint effort with project partners including Justice Grants Administration, District of Columbia's Public Schools.

In addition to conducting the evaluation, Choice Research Associates was asked to assist JGA with the development of an Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) enterprise data system. We provide training and technical assistance for integration of data from all community based organizations involved in the project, we monitor the data and oversee creation of ad-hoc and standard reports for ongoing evaluation efforts.

District of Columbia Department of Human Services Diversion Programs

Through funding provided by the Justice Grants Administration, Choice Research Associates is providing technical assistance and evaluation services for two youth diversion programs conducted by the Department of Human Services The first program is the Parent and Adolescent Support Services (PASS) program, and the second is the Alternatives to Court Experience (ACE) Diversion program. Both programs are geared toward providing case management services to families of youth referred to DHS in response to truancy and/or juvenile justice system involvement.

Guiding Eyes for the Blind Longitudinal Survey Project

Choice Research Associates is currently engaged by the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Guide Dog School in Yorktown Heights, New York to conduct statistical analysis of longitudinal surveys completed by graduates of the school over the next 3 to 5 years. Guiding Eyes for the Blind is an internationally accredited 501(c)(3) nonprofit guide dog school, founded in 1954. Since its inception, Guiding Eyes has become known for its cutting-edge training programs, commitment to excellence, and dedication to its elite and superbly trained guide dogs. In 2008, the school launched Heeling Autism, a service dog program designed to provide safety and companionship for children on the autism spectrum. Guiding Eyes provides all of its services at no cost, and is dependent upon contributions to fulfill its mission. The organization's Headquarters and Training Center is located in Yorktown Heights, New York, and its Canine Development Center is in Patterson, New York. Choice Research Associates conducted an analysis of a prior graduate survey in 2013, and those results are available here.

Baltimore's Safe and Sound Campaign

Dr. Flower was contracted to provide evaluation and consulting services relating to Baltimore's Safe and Sound Campaign Maryland Opportunity Compacts. The focus of the project was to conduct an evaluation of the Maryland Public Safety Compact reflecting Compact client engagement and recidivism outcomes. (Recidivism report available here). Dr. Flower also consulted with Safe and Sound on the new web-based data system including exploration of process measures for vendors providing services to clients of the Public Safety Compact.

Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Human Services Offender Reentry Initiative

Dr. Flower was engaged to assist in the development of strategies and policies to reduce offender recidivism by developing a focused comprehensive reentry strategy. The objective of the project was to work collaboratively with the Mayor’s Office, representatives from the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS), and review the extant literature to incorporate evidence based strategies to propose a jail reentry model. Multiple sources of data were utilized to inform this project including Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) official criminal history data, arrestee self-report of the Proxy Risk Assessment Tool, Offender Case Management System (OCMS) data providing release time and dates and release status, survey data from the Window Replication Project, and Level of Service Inventory Revised (LSI-R) assessment data of BCDC inmates and detainees.

The project report details the methodology and process to obtain information related to the project objectives and to support the final recommendations, including findings from the literature review, a discussion of a key innovative programs, data analysis from the five data sources utilized in the project and incorporate key discussions from the Mayor’s Office Adult Population Subcommittee and the DPSCS Detention Reentry Model Development Committee meetings. Additional resources will also be highlighted to assist in the implementation of jail reentry strategies. The full report is available here.

Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems Baltimore Recovery Corp Project

Choice Research Associates has been engaged by Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems (bSAS) to develop an evaluation plan for Baltimore Recovery Corp, a peer recovery project managed by bSAS in collaboration with the Mayor's Office of Volunteer Services. Choice Research Associates will provide a summary of the existing research literature and research data collection tools from evaluations of behavioral health peer initiatives, as well as utilize the Program Development Evaluation (PDE) process to conduct workshops with stakeholders to establish long-term goals, short-term objectives, and implementation process standards and measures to develop a comprehensive evaluation plan for this initiative.

Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems Monitoring Measures Project

Choice Research Associates was engaged in June 2012 by the Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems (bSAS) to explore existing data monitoring measures for substance abuse systems and to conceptualize monitoring measures that could be developed and computed by bSAS. While the project focus is on substance abuse systems, existing data systems among other behavioral health systems (e.g., Department of Mental Health, Mental Hygiene Administration) were considered and reviewed primarily to support any discussion of funding streams/resources for emerging changes in consolidation of substance abuse and mental health systems. The report is available here.

Baltimore City Health Department/Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems Drug Treatment Court Enhancement Project

This is a program evaluation using the PDE method. Enhanced services in this project involve multiple partners (substance abuse treatment (including long term residential and buprenorphine outpatient), health insurance case management, transitional housing, and recovery mediation. Parties worked collaboratively to agree upon goals, objectives and implementation measures, and continued partnership to ensure adherence to the program model. This multi-year project involves strategic planning, coordination, and facilitation among multiple stakeholders to establish a process and protocols to ensure the provision of services and attainment of objectives.  

Baltimore City MD-REP/PI Window Replication Project

A collaboration between Power Inside, Catholic Charities' Maryland Re-Entry Partnership, Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice and Choice Research Associates to replicate Power Inside's Window Study with pre trial detainees and those within hours of release from Baltimore City Detention Center. The study assessed the needs and anticipated barriers to reintegration after detention. For more information, see initial study publication here. Choice Research Associates continues to explore these data to promote data-driven decision-making. A recent example is a report focused on transportation issues for those leaving the Baltimore City Detention Center and is available here.

National Institute of Corrections Women Offender Initiative

As a consultant with the National Institute of Corrections Women Offender Initiative in Washington DC, Dr. Flower conducted a review of the empirical evidence on women and employment, published in October 2010 (see published report here). Shawn also reviewed the differences by gender in a series of key domains related to recidivism including lifetime history of sexual and physical abuse, mental illness, anxiety/depression and psychosis, and issues related to dysfunctional relationships both as an adult and related to conflict within the family of origin.

In May 2012, Dr. Flower was asked by NIC to conduct a nationwide inventory of formal organizations that target justice involved women across multiple spectrums including criminal justice, healthcare, public policy, advocacy, and legislative groups. This project will culminate in a database that can facilitate an information sharing network to advance the overall well-being of women involved in the criminal justice system.

Montgomery County Maryland Dept. of Corrections & Rehabilitation

Since 2008, provide policy support to the Montgomery County Maryland Dept. of Corrections & Rehabilitation in Rockville, MD, through brief reviews of literature on topics including correctional programming and institutional safety, impact of lead paint exposure on criminal offending, sex offender residency restriction laws, jail visitation, and a compilation of the best re-entry newsletter and website resources.

Justice & Security Strategies, Inc.

Dr. Flower was engaged In 2008-2009 as a subcontractor to work with Justice Security Strategies, Inc., of Silver Spring, MD conducting data collection and analysis for the Jail recidivism Project for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Montgomery County. This project was funded by the Maryland Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention and the published study is available here.

From 2009 to 2012, Choice Research Associates also provided data analysis, evaluation support, and on-site testing for Justice Security Strategies, Inc. on the Mistral Security Inc., Presumptive Drug Detection Technology (PDDT) pilot testing within community corrections settings. This project was funded by the National Institutes of Justice. The published report can be viewed here.

Women Moving Forward ( conference evaluation

This one-day conference is sponsored by the National Association of Women Judges and held at the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women (MCIW) and provides women within 6 to 9 months of release the opportunity to attend re-entry focused workshops, employment interviews, resource fair, and fashion show. Evaluated annually since 2008, approximately 500 participants have provided feedback, as have other conference attendees including members of the steering committee, presenters, speakers, employers, resource fair participants, conference volunteers, MCIW staff, and guests. See for copies of evaluation reports.

Veteran Inmates in Maryland Office of Transition Services, Maryland DPSCS

Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Baltimore, MD 2013
Veteran Inmates in Maryland is a service project on behalf of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) Office of Transition Services. Dr. Flower conducted an analysis of a survey administered in February 2013 of over 250 inmates identified as Veterans, and housed in 25 DPSCS facilities. The objective of the survey was to describe the inmate veteran population, confirm veteran status, deployment history, identify benefits received, housing plans upon release, and ascertain the inmate's needs upon release. A second data source was a data extract from DPSCS information systems which provided institutional data, risk assessment history, and additional demographic data. The report is available here.

At Time of Release -- Inmate Homeless Census Report for the Transition Services and Community Initiative Project

At Time of Release -- Inmate Homeless Census Report for the Transition Services and Community Initiative Project is a service project on behalf of the Maryland Division of Correction (DOC). Dr. Flower assisted in the development of a housing upon release survey administered by DOC staff to 127 inmates released from facilities in April 2011, created a web-based data collection tool, and conducted analysis.. Data obtained from this survey was also compared to data from the Baltimore City Window Replication Study to provide a view of housing status among 142 individuals within hours of release from a booking facility, and 200 pre-trial detainees provided their plan of where they would be living upon release.

National Women's Prison Project The Women's Collaborative

The National Women's Prison Project The Women's Collaborative, is a case management program which uses evidenced based assessment tools and a holistic approach to assist women upon their return home to Baltimore City after a period of incarceration in a federal, state, or local correctional facility. Evaluation activities conducted in 2009-2011 for this project included development of a PDE evaluation plan, creation of a comprehensive access database to capture the ASI-lite, the client's individualized service plan, and all contacts and referrals both with and on behalf of the client, and an evaluation of the first year program activities.

Welcome Home Reentry Program

This is a faith-based multi-site program affiliated with the Archdiocese of Washington which provides mentoring services to adults released from prison into Montgomery county, Prince Georges county and Washington DC. Volunteer mentors are recruited and are asked to be a source of support and encouragement as a mentor after release. Choice Research Associates are conducting the program evaluation using the PDE, includes development of participant surveys and refinement of Access Database to capture process measures and creation of customized reports. 

Workforce Solutions Group of Montgomery County Healthcare Navigator Program

Dr. Flower completed evaluations in 2011 of the Workforce Solutions Group of Montgomery County Healthcare Navigator Program. This program provided eligible uninsured adult Montgomery County residents seeking employment services with access to low-cost/no-cost healthcare and/or information about healthcare options. The pilot project was successful and the expansion of the project to a second MontgomeryWorks! location was funded by Kaiser Foundation. Evaluation activities included development of Access databases to capture process, outcome and client satisfaction data, analysis of existing administrative data, and conducting focus groups and stakeholder interviews.

The Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC)

The Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) in Kensington, MD provides a variety of services to public housing residents. From 2010 to 2011, Dr. Flower conducted program assessments of three Housing and Urban Development funded Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency programs. Two of the programs focused on provision of employment, education and case management; while the third was an evaluation of utilization and customer satisfaction of a neighborhood drop-in center by public housing residents. Evaluation activities for these projects included coding data from paper files, creating data collection tools to capture additional information and client surveys, analysis of existing administrative data and writing brief reports summarizing the findings.

Baltimore County Local Management Board

In 2011 and 2012, Dr. Flower completed a secondary data analysis for the Baltimore County Local Management Board in support of their Disproportionate Minority Contact school referral project. School referral data were provided, coupled with school-level data from the Maryland State Department of Education. Questions answered included who was referred (by race and gender, including the Relative Rate Index), what were the charges (the types of charge overall and also by race and gender) along 3 levels of inquiry - county-wide, school level (Middle vs. High vs. Alternative schools) and by individual school. Additional analysis for the 2010-2011 school year data included exploring referrals by month, time or date, and among the top 6 high and middle schools, referrals by seriousness, race and gender. In 2012, Dr. Flower conducted analysis to observe differences in arrest from the 2010/2011 to the 2011/2012 school years. These differences were observed by gender, race, and by charge, county-wide and by level of school (middle versus high school).

Abell Foundation

Choice Research Associates conducted an empirical analysis of jury trial outcomes in four Maryland jurisdictions funded by the Abell Foundation in Baltimore City. The published study is located here. This study examined 293 cases from a pool of 1,624 unique cases disposed by jury trial in Baltimore City Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard Counties and found jurisdictional disparities after accounting for offense, case, and offender characteristics

Rowan University Center for Addiction Studies

Dr. Flower worked with Rowan University Center for Addiction Studies as an External Evaluator and Co-Evaluator (with Nadine M. Connell, PhD.) of several social norms campaigns conducted in New Jersey. Specifically, a bullying social norms program was conducted in middle schools, and an alcohol, tobacco and other drug use social norms campaign in high schools. In the second year, the project Co-Evaluators revised, tested, and launched the social campaign student surveys and conducted analysis of the data. External Evaluator Social Norms report for 2005-2007 here; and Social Norms 2007-2008 report here. Dr. Flower also worked as the External Evaluator on the Campus Survey of Alcohol and Other Drug Norms conducted for the New Jersey Higher Education Consortium. See the 2007-2008 Evaluator Report here.

MontgomeryWorks! Benchmark Project

In 2008, MontgomeryWorks! participated in the Public Private Venture Benchmark Project and requested Choice Research Associates to guide and provide quality control over the data collection, the reporting process, tabulate the results, and provide a summary of issues and recommendations related to administrative databases and challenges in data collection efforts related to the Benchmark project.