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SSRI > Programs > Research and Evaluation in Public Safety Project (REPS)

 

Research and Evaluation in Public Safety Project (REPS)

The REPS team provides technical assistance and consultation to the Hawaii State Department of Public Safety (PSD) in areas of: definition and collection of data to measure PSD’s goals, objectives, and activities; program evaluation; training and performance improvement; grant development and management; and collection of health care quality improvement indicators.

REPS provides ongoing assistance in three major areas:

  • Development of program evaluation components, objectives, and evaluation methods; conduct program evaluation studies, and write and distribute reports of evaluation findings for PSD programs including programs operated by PSD’s contracted vendors. Incorporate participatory research methods into program evaluation studies.
  • Provide consultation, technical assistance, and services in the development and measurement of PSD goals, objectives, and performance indicators.
  • Design, implement, manage and maintain an active mental health quality/performance improvement program for the Health Care Program (HCP) of the Corrections Division of PSD.

The REPS Data Infrastructure Improvement Project (DIIP) focuses on assessing PSD’s current infrastructure data systems, determining current and future needs, and providing guidance in selecting an appropriate replacement product and implementation plan in order to provide access to dynamically changing data. More specifically, to:

  • Conduct an initial assessment of PSD's information systems (OffenderTrak®, program-level databases, etc.) and help determine information needs across the department for evaluation, operational and managerial matters;
  • Research the OffenderTrak® product currently in use, identify current products available relating to corrections management, and evaluate broader product offerings and market direction. Also, identify systems used by other jurisdictions (county, state, federal) and evaluate specific features of interest; and
  • Recommend options for PSD to improve its data information system.

REPS also engages in activities to promote offender reentry programming and case management. More specifically, two current projects involve:

  • Writing, receiving, and managing a $1.2 million dollar grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to help community-based substance-abuse providers understand and incorporate offender reentry programming principles into their practice. This grant follows 156 offenders released on probation from jail over a three-year period to see if incorporation of offender reentry principles helps with substance abuse outcomes and recidivism rates.
  • The Reentry Case Management Project serves individuals on Oahu who are “maxing-out” of the system (i.e., those who have served their complete sentence and typically have not made detailed plans for what they will do once out of prison) by helping them develop a reentry plan and, upon release, with transportation; help getting checks cashed for money earned while in prison; getting clothing; getting a free bus pass; getting health insurance; getting a free cell phone through the Affordable Care Act; helping individuals without a place to stay become connected with the Institute for Human Services (IHS) where staff assure that they will get an EBT (food stamp) card immediately, a birth certificate, and most importantly, a written record of residence which allows them to get a state ID so they can look for a job, then better housing with their new income.

Looking Forward

  • REPS will be adding a community advisory board in the next year in order to help focus our efforts and advocacy in ways that benefit the community at large, including PSD.
  • Refining our Mission Statement
  • Furlough Program Assessment and Evaluation

 

 

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