Sustainable Disease Risk Reduction Strategies for CJ Systems (DRR-2)

Well established and consistent use of HIV/HBV/HCV risk reduction prevention/intervention programs with continuity of care do not exist in most criminal justice treatment systems because of lack of policy development and integration between institution and community-based corrections, health, and social service agencies. Risk reduction interventions targeting re-entry are crucial because of the likelihood for risk behaviors to increase upon return to the community. Approaches for community corrections populations are needed that have the capability of addressing motivational, social, and cognitive deficits. The first phase of this continuation project DRR (2008-2014) developed and tested an in-prison, highly-interactive group-based curriculum, titled WaySafe, that was designed to help offenders make better decisions regarding health risk behaviors after release back to the community. The current project is adapting the innovative WaySafe intervention for use with community corrections populations. The adapted intervention, StaySafe, includes twelve 10-15 minute self-administered sessions based on evidence-based cognitive principles designed to improve decision-making skills, regarding health risk behaviors during the critical first several months under community supervision.

StaySafe was administered to probationers newly released from residential or prison-based substance abuse treatment during the brief time they are waiting for their regularly scheduled appointments with their probation officer (PO). It utilizes tablet computers that provide an easy to use and interactive interface for probationers to work through an evidence-based, decision-making schema. An advantage of this approach is that it can be administered to probationers with minimal time commitment by staff and that it utilizes probationer down time when they are waiting for appointments. This intervention will be implemented in the probation departments of several large counties in Texas. Participating probationers will be randomly assigned to an experimental (StaySafe) or control (standard operating procedure; SOP) arm. All participating probationers will be asked to complete measures at baseline and at six and twelve months.

Selected Publications for DRR2

Joe, G., Lehman, W. E. K., Rowan, G., Knight, K., & Flynn, P. M. (2019). Evaluating the impact of a targeted brief HIV intervention on multiple inter-related HIV risk factors of knowledge and attitudes among incarcerated drug users. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, 19(1), 61–69.

Lehman, W.E.K., Pankow, J., Muiruri, R., Joe, G.W, Knight, K., & Flynn, P. (2019, October). A Mixed Method analysis of attitudinal and behavioral changes after StaySafe, a computer tablet app to improve decision making around health behaviors among people on probation. Paper Presentation at the Addiction Health Services Research Conference, Park City, UT.

Muiruri, R., Pankow, J., Lehman, W.E.K., Bonnette, B., Goldberg, G., & Knight, K. (2019, October). Methodological considerations for conducting research with Adults in Community and Residential corrections settings. Paper Presentation at the Addiction Health Services Research Conference, Park City, UT.

Pankow, J., Lehman, W. E. K., Muiruri, R., & Knight, K. (2019). Facilitating self- exploration and behavioral change associated with HIV risk reduction: A qualitative study of individuals on probation and their experiences using a decision-making app. Federal Probation Journal, 83(2), 34-38.

Pankow, J., Lehman, W.E.K., Muiruri, R., Goldberg, & Knight, K. (2019, October). Substance use and treatment-seeking experiences for adults on probation in a county residential treatment setting: A qualitative study. Paper Presentation at the Addiction Health Services Research Conference, Park City, UT.