NPC News 
A quarterly update
from NPC Research
Volume 3, Issue 4
Staff Spotlight
Chad Rodi recently joined NPC as a Senior Research Associate. He is an applied social science researcher with expertise in social service areas including special education, education finance and policy, criminal justice, child welfare, youth suicide prevention, program administration, mental health, teen pregnancy prevention, substance use treatment and program evaluation methods. Chad's previous positions include Research and Evaluation Director for Children & Family Futures, where he oversaw local, state and federally funded projects that measure performance effectiveness and evaluate outcomes for children and families affected by substance use disorders who are at risk or involved with child welfare services. Learn more about Chad. 
Timothy Ho joined NPC Research this June as a Research Analyst. He has almost a decade of experience in research and evaluation, and his role on evaluation teams has primarily focused on providing quantitative data analysis and assisting in the design of research and evaluation projects. Timothy is experienced in planning and implementing rigorous and appropriate methodologies that help program staff and managers better understand their programs. Other responsibilities have included overseeing data collection processes and implementing best practices for data management to ensure high quality data. Learn more about Tim.  
Kim Corbett joined NPC Research this year as the company bookkeeper. She handles Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable in addition to various other administrative duties. Kim has more than 10 years of experience in accounting and bookkeeping. She has worked in various capacities including A/P, A/R, billing, financial reconciliations, banking, audits, commissions, payroll, and office management. Her educational background includes coursework at California State University Long Beach and Northern Arizona University.
Drug Court Professionals' Association Honors NPC Founder as "Science Giant"
The National Association of Drug Court Professionals' (NADCP) 21st Annual Training Conference and Third Annual Veterans Court Conference was held this July in National Harbor, MD, attended by nearly 5,000 drug court professionals. 
The conference featured presentations by NPC researchers including Shannon Carey, Juliette Mackin, Paige Harrison, and Charlene Zil, who collaborated with others to present the latest research. To view the presentations, please click here.
A primary focus of this year's conference was on the roll-out of Volume II of NADCP's Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards. Dr. Doug Marlowe presented an overview of these standards during the closing ceremony. The standards can be found at the NADCP website here. For more information on the 2015 conference, including a closer look at the interdisciplinary offerings from the conference and links to conference presentations, click here.
A highlight of the conference for NPC was the "Science Giant" award presented to NPC Founder and retired President, Michael Finigan (pictured with, from left, Juliette Mackin, Paige Harrison, Jennifer Aborn, Kate Kissick, and Charlene Zil). Dr. Finigan was selected for his ground-breaking studies of drug court programs and for developing a group of research staff who have carried on this work. 
Study Examines Integration of Behavioral Health Services Within Routine Med Care

Healthcare policy has begun to emphasize the importance of the integration of behavioral health services within routine medical care. The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) supports the implementation of SBIRT (screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment), an evidence-based approach to addressing unhealthy alcohol and illicit drug use, in medical settings across the country. Oregon's Coordinated Care Organizations (established via the Affordable Care Act) incorporate SBIRT as an incentive measure. Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) received a 3-year SAMHSA grant to establish the SBIRT Oregon Training Initiative. OHSU has partnered with NPC Research to evaluate the Initiative.

The purpose of the Initiative is to increase the number of health professionals who can effectively carry out SBIRT practices in urban and rural medical settings throughout Oregon. As part of its evaluation of the Initiative, NPC will assess the development and implementation of the cross-sector training curriculum and provide feedback regarding successes, challenges, and lessons learned. NPC will also examine the impact of the training curriculum on students and residents, specifically regarding their knowledge of substance use within the general population, their perceptions of SBIRT's utility in their clinical practices, and their reported use of SBIRT with their patients and clients.

Extensive SBIRT-related resources--including research articles, screening tools, and instructional videos--can be found at the SAMHSA website, and the SBIRT Oregon website

Featured Top 10 Drug Court Best Practice: Drug courts with a caseload census less than 125 were more likely to follow other best practices and have lower recidivism    
In this ongoing column, we present the Top 10 drug court best practices, one practice at a time with a brief discussion of each practice. In this issue, we present the #1 practice in the Top 10 best practices for reducing recidivism. (See the full publication on best practices.)
Drug Courts with a program caseload (number of active participants) of less than 125 had more than five times greater reductions in recidivism than programs with more participants.
Reductions in recidivism decrease as programs get larger. As the drug court gets larger, the caseloads per case manager and treatment provider also tend to get larger. The larger programs were more likely to decrease the level of supervision, decrease drug testing and treatment services or otherwise "water down" the drug court model. In addition, the role of the judge has been demonstrated to be a key factor in participant success. Judges report difficulty in getting to know participants and develop a rapport to the extent that they need to when they see more than 100 participants. When a drug court becomes larger than 125 active participants, this should be a "trigger" for the team to assess their program and ensure that best practices continue to be implemented and that participant supervision and treatment needs are still being met.