CARA Projects

Public Safety Assessments and Rebuttal Presumption Offenses in Bernalillo County

In June 2017, the County implemented the Public Safety Assessment (PSA) for felony cases, which is used by judges to assist in release decision-making. During this time, in addition to conditions set at the felony first appearance, there has also been the option for preventive detention (PTD) – a procedure to detain a defendant by means of a motion filed by the District Attorney’s office and heard by a Second Judicial Court judge. Over the last several years, a variety of suggestions have been proposed add an option for a rebuttable presumption offense, which would result in the denial of bail and detention of a defendant if circumstances were met. This project reviews the offenses as defined in the most recent proposed legislation and how these compare with filed motions for PTD as well as PSA recommendations, failure to appear rates, new criminal activity, new violent criminal activity, and details of the new criminal activity including charge level and charge type.

Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Research

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed in 2003 and established a “zero-tolerance” standard for in-custody sexual victimization, made eliminating it a top priority for all U.S. prisons and jails, and established national standards for its detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment. This project will focus on analysis on the PREA related policies and processes at the MDC to accomplish a series of tasks, including recommending adjustments to the current PREA questionnaires and provide recommendations to improve process and ensure the MDC follows best practices for detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment.

New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department COVID-19 Technical Assistance

CARA provides ongoing support to New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Term Services Department (ALTSD) concerning the collection, review, analysis, and reporting of data on the state’s COVID-19 response in Long-Term Care (LTCs). Technical assistance has included (but is not limited to): verifying data integrity, providing recommendations on outcomes and measures of infection, vulnerability, etc. to improve care delivery to LTC residents, developing simplified data illustrations for official presentations and press releases, preparing and maintaining official datasets for the department, and collaborating with entities internal and external to the ALTSD as part of a novel government initiative to assess LTC facility-level risk.

New Mexico Corrections Department Classification Scoring Form Validation Study

This project focuses on the validation of the New Mexico Corrections Department revised male and new female initial classification forms and reclassification forms and a classification system assessment that meets best practices. This project also includes a more detailed review of reliability assessment data and a process evaluation that will be useful in the validation study and revisions to the classification system.  A classification system that is not working as intended and that is not reliable cannot be validated. A working process and reliability are essential for an objective classification system.

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 Comprehensive Assessment and Recovery through Excellence (CARE) campus.  These programs include the Public Inebriate Intervention Program (PIIP), the Mariposa Residential Program, the Supportive Aftercare Community (SAC) program, the jail-based Addiction Treatment Program (ATP), the Detoxification program, and the Crisis Stabilization Unit.

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.

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.