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Associations Among State and Local Organizational Contexts: Use of Evidence-Based Practices in the Criminal Justice System
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 103: 23-32

Link to Publication

Researcher(s): (Douglas Young) (Robert M Bell) (Craig E Henderson) (Faye S Taxman)


This study used hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to examine the extent to which the organizational characteristics of state corrections agencies and local criminal justices facilities interacted to predict the extent to which local facilities are using evidence-based substance abuse treatment practices (EBPs). The study used data collected from two nationally representative surveys---one of state executives and the other of local wardens and justice administrators---which were conducted as part of the National Criminal Justice Treatment Practices survey (NCJTP; Taxman et al., 2007), and includes both adult criminal and juvenile justice samples. Results indicated that several state organizational characteristics were either associated with more EBP use or interacted with local organizational characteristics to predict EBP use, including: (1) systems integration at the state level was associated with greater EBP use; (2) state staffing adequacy and stability accentuated the impact that local training and resources for new programs were associated with EBP use (i.e., in states with better staffing, the relationship between training/resources and EBP use in local facilities was stronger); and (3) state executives---attitudes regarding the missions and goals of corrections tended to diminish the extent to which corresponding local administrator attitudes were associated with EBP use. The study has implications for future research focused on EBP diffusion and implementation in correctional environments, particularly attempts to influence EBP use through leveraging state agencies.