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CARA Projects

The Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) St. Joseph's Children (SJC) Randomized Control Trial Longitudinal Study

The Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) St. Joseph's Catholic (SJC) Longitudinal Study is a randomized control trial designed to determine the short- and long-term impacts of the CHI SJC Home Visiting program model. The study compares outcomes between families receiving home visiting services and families in a control group who do not receive these services. This is a longitudinal study following participants from birth through high school graduation or 19 years of age.

Behavioral Health Initiative (BHI) Research

In 2015, the Bernalillo County Commission (BCC) and voters approved a new gross-receipts tax (GRT) expected to generate between $17 and $20 million each year, to improve access to care and develop a unified and coordinated behavioral health system in the County and surrounding area.  CARA provides technical assistance, consulting and research services for the Bernalillo County Behavioral Health Initiative (BHI).  CARA is studying the planning, development, and implementation of the variety of projects and programs funded under the BHI.  This includes a component focused on tracking clients served in the different programs funded by the BHI and how a unified continuum of care improves behavioral health outcomes for individuals and the community.  Studies of the various projects and programs are designed to be the most rigorous possible including quasi-experimental studies and randomized control trials where appropriate.

Bernalillo County Public Safety Program Criminal Justice System Reform Initiatives Research

Funded by Bernalillo County, CARA staff study the array of initiatives designed to enhance public safety, improve the efficient operation of the local criminal justice system, move our jurisdiction closer to best practices, and assist the local jail in its operations.  Routine tasks include tracking and reporting on the jail population (i.e. bookings, releases, length of stay, and other population details) and court system improvement initiatives addressing arraignments, preventive detention, pretrial services, movement of cases through the system, and use of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation Public Safety Assessment.

Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) Accreditation Assistance for Bernalillo County Department of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS)

This project involves providing technical assistance to DBHS in its efforts to acquire CARF accreditation. CARA staff help DHBS focus on identifying the specific benchmarks relevant to obtaining CARF accreditation and recommends improvements to addressing system deficiencies, This project will help to establish department foundational definitions.

Bernalillo County Department of Behavioral Health Services (DBHS) Research

CARA provides on-going evaluation of programs funded to provide drug and alcohol prevention services to residents of Bernalillo County.  This includes a variety of programs targeting K-12 students, adults and the general public.  CARA also evaluates the array of programs located at the Metropolitan Assessment and Treatment Services (MATS) campus.  These programs include the Public Inebriate Intervention Program (PIIP), the Supportive Aftercare Community (SAC) program, the jail based Addiction Treatment Program (ATP), and the Detoxification program.

New Mexico Corrections Department Classification Scoring Form Review and Reliability Assessment

CARA staff are reviewing and modifying the forms currently used to classify and reclassify inmate security level assignments. This review includes an inter- and intra-rater reliability assessment of the current and revised forms. Scoring forms are designed to improve the safety and security of correctional facilities in New Mexico by effectively placing and managing inmates in the custody of the New Mexico Corrections Department. In recent years, a number of issues have emerged to challenge correctional facilities across the country triggering a need for review and modification of prison classification systems.

The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) Research

The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) at the University of New Mexico was established to identify, recruit, admit, and enroll migrant and seasonal farm worker students and provide them with academic, social, and financial support to enable the completion of their first year of college. CAMP has funded CARA to provide annual program evaluation and recommendations based upon evaluation findings. Evaluation tasks have focused on helping the program measure progress towards the realization of program mission, goals, and objectives.

The Post-baccalaureate Research and Education Program (PREP) Research

The Post-baccalaureate Research and Education Program (PREP) is a mentoring program with the primary goal of enhancing the ability of individuals from under-represented groups who recently received a Bachelor’s degree to gain entry into graduate PhD programs. Since 2009, PREP has contracted CARA to provide annual assessments of the program as well as assess the long-term effects of attending PREP on former PREP scholars.

City of Albuquerque Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program Study

The Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program (funded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will create vital infrastructure to address the needs of individuals with serious mental illness (SMI). The State of New Mexico Second Judicial District Court, University of New Mexico Hospital, other mental health providers, and community–based service agencies will work to integrate care and improve the health and social outcomes of individuals with SMI. AOT consumers should experience decreases in the number and duration of psychiatric hospitalizations, interactions with the criminal justice system, incarcerations, and homelessness.

CARA serves as the local evaluator for the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County AOT. Over the four-year project period, we will conduct process and outcome evaluations of the program and perform a cost study. Our data and findings will inform the City and program providers as well as the national AOT evaluation conducted by RTI. In addition, we provide technical assistance to the City of Albuquerque Project Director regarding data collection strategies and management information systems.

City of Albuquerque Civilian Police Oversight Agency Research

Independent of the City Administration and City Council, the Civilian Police Oversight Agency (CPOA) consists of a Police Oversight Board (POB) and an Administrative Office led by the CPOA Executive Director. In addition to other duties, the CPOA investigates all civilian complaints relating to police conduct and monitors and reports on police internal affairs matters. The POB provides policy guidance for and civilian oversight of the Albuquerque Police Department and reviews police misconduct complaints, providing findings and makes recommendations of misconduct findings for all investigations completed by the Administrative Office. CARA assists the CPOA in analyzing and reporting data for the required semi-annual and annual reports to the Mayor and City Council and generally supports CPOA by providing research, analysis, and technical assistance regarding training, programs, policy, procedures and other matters relating to the Albuquerque Police Department (APD).

City of Albuquerque Peer to Peer Opioid Overdose Reduction Project

The City of Albuquerque was awarded funding from the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, with supplemental funding provided by City General Funds, to proactively address the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County’s opioid overdose and death rate.  Specific objectives include reducing the use of local first responder and emergency department services for opioid-related crisis by connecting survivors of a non-fatal overdose with detox and substance use treatment and support services while in the emergency department following the overdose.  CARA has been contracted to evaluate this project.  The focus is on measuring the impact of providing peer outreach and supports for individuals in this setting.