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

Principal Researcher

Shawn M. Flower, Ph.D. is the Principal Researcher of Choice Research Associates, providing criminal justice research services that focus on issues of prisoner re-entry, female offenders, community corrections, and program evaluation which employ rigorous methodologies. Dr. Flower has worked as a Program Evaluator in the field of Criminal Justice Research since 2002 and has a solid foundation working with program administrators, direct service providers, and funding agencies. In her work, she conducts both process and outcome evaluations of a variety of programs including prisoner reentry, BJA/SAMHSA funded enhancement services project for Baltimore City District Drug Treatment Court participants, and services for at risk populations including the unemployed and public housing residents. In conducting these evaluations, Dr. Flower often employs a model of researcher-practitioner collaboration called the Program Development Evaluation (PDE) method, developed by Drs. Gary and Denise Gottfredson. Dr. Flower also provides research services and policy and strategic planning support to state, local, and national criminal justice agencies.

Dr. Flower began working with Justice Research Statistics Association (JRSA) in May 2012 as a Research Associate on the National Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center project. Subsequently, Dr. Flower and JRSA were awarded three projects funded by the Justice Grants Administration Office of Victims Services. These projects include the Victim Legal Network of the District of Columbia, the Domestic Violence Housing Evaluation, and the Building Capacity for Performance Measurement and Evaluation.

Dr. Flower is also a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Governmental Service and Research (IGSR) at the University of Maryland, working on a project-by-project basis. She recently concluded her study of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR) Second Chance Act Technology Careers Grant Program and is currently engaged with IGSR on providing evaluation services for DLLRís Safe Streets Grant, funded by the Maryland Governorís Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP).

In addition to research, Dr. Flower was a lecturer for the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland, College Park from 2008 to 2012. Dr. Flower taught an upper level undergraduate class in corrections every spring, and in March 2010, she taught Criminal Justice System Planning and Policy for the joint University of Maryland, Nanjing Normal University Master's Degree Program in Nanjing China.

In April 2009, Dr. Flower was appointed to the State of Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Female Offender Management Workgroup (FOMW), and served on the Program Quality Subcommittee. From 2010 to 2013, Dr. Flower served as Chair, and remains a member of the workgroup. The FOMW conducts quarterly meetings to discuss the needs and issues related to women offenders along the criminal justice continuum. Dr. Flower also served as a board member for the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women College Degree Program from 2010 to 2014. This program provides incarcerated women the opportunity to participate in college classes. Dr. Flower also served on the Montgomery County Pre-Release Center Community Advisory Board from 2007 to 2012.

Since 2008, Dr. Flower has been the evaluator for the Women Moving Forward Conference, ( sponsored by the National Association of Women Judges and held each year at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women. Dr. Flower has also been involved as a steering committee member and in 2011, served as Co-Chair of the conference. This annual day-long event provides approximately 125 women with the opportunity to attend workshops focused on re-entry issues including housing, education, mental health counseling and available resources, as well as providing an opportunity to participate in job interviews.

Shawn M. Flower, Ph.D. graduated from the University of Maryland, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, College Park in August 2007. Dr. Flower's dissertation, Predicting Success in the Montgomery County Pre-Release Center: The Actuarial Efficacy of the Selection Suitability Scale, investigated the predictive validity of a set of selection criteria utilized by a work release facility designed to assist offenders transitioning to the community after a period of incarceration. The study examined how well these criteria predict an offender's behavior during their participation in the PRC program. In the process of this dissertation, Shawn collected what is conceivably the most comprehensive database of over 300 variables on a population of 600 program participants from 2001 to 2004 including social, psychological, employment, abuse (sexual and physical), criminal, and substance abuse and use histories. The data collected also include a comparison group of those who applied to the facility in that time period, but did not attend. Shawn plans to pursue a research agenda with these data including an examination of recidivism and the impact of employment on criminal behavior.