Kevin Baldwin and Sharon Johnson are certified trainers of SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation curriculum “How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Responses.” Trauma "is an almost universal experience of persons with mental health and substance use disorders," populations which are vastly overrepresented in our justice system. Training informs staff at all levels about trauma, its effects, and how to employ trauma-informed responses. ARS can help agencies develop trauma-informed systems to better protect and serve staff and justice-involved individuals. Contact us for more information!

Innovative Practices

Dr. Shila Hawk was part of a collaboration that created a resource document of innovative criminal justice practices with embedded links for easy navigation. Read Here

U.S. Department of Justice.

Dr. Meredith led a National Institute of Justice study to determine the influence of officer home visits on the supervision outcomes of high risk parolees. She and her team rode along with 60 parole officers from 13 different offices throughout the state of Georgia. Findings suggest that each home visit is related to reduced risk of a new felony arrest or a revocation, controlling for criminogenic factors and supervision.

City of Refuge
ARS will serve as the evaluator and research partner for the City of Refuge Reentry HUB, a multifaceted compendium of services designed to assist individuals returning from a period of incarceration and their families to more successfully navigate the many challenges associated with the reentry process. This work is funded through a United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Second Chance Act Community-based Reentry Program Award.

Policing Alternatives & Diversion (PAD) Initiative
ARS will serve as the evaluator and research partner working alongside the Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities to study the expansion of the Atlanta/Fulton County Policing Alternatives and Diversion (PAD) Initiative. Designed to provide alternatives to arrest and booking of persons with behavioral health issues, The PAD initiative follows the format of the pioneering Law Enforcement Aided Diversion (LEAD) program in Seattle, Washington. This work is funded through a DOJ Office of Justice Programs Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) award.

Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research
ARS is a partner in Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research (APPR), dedicated to achieving fair, just and effective pretrial practices, every day, throughout the nation. Led by the Center for Effective Public Policy, APPR is a project of the National Partnership for Pretrial Justice made possible through a generous grant from Arnold Ventures.

Combating Heroin and Opioid Fatalities
ARS provides evaluation research and consultation to the Cobb County Office of the District Attorney’s federally funded Opioid Fatality Review (OFR) panel, the county’s efforts to address the heroin and opioid problem by thoroughly investigating overdose deaths. We also completed an in-depth investigation of the heroin and opioid issue in Fulton County and the northern Atlanta suburbs, documenting the nature and extent of heroin and opioid use and impacts in the “heroin triangle”.

Environmental Interventions to Reduce Sexual Violence
ARS led a national team bringing violence prevention and environmental design together to enhance campus sexual assault prevention efforts. Download the free toolkit here: Enhancing Campus Sexual Assault Prevention Efforts Through Situational Interventions.

Combatting Human Trafficking
ARS provides participatory, action-oriented evaluation services to an agency combatting human trafficking, documenting their work providing direct services to survivors of human trafficking as well as educating law enforcement, court personnel, service providers, and the general public on issues related to human trafficking and domestic violence.

Improving Mental Health Service Delivery in Jails
ARS is using jail and other data to gain an understanding of the number and characteristics of frequent service utilizers in Fulton County, Georgia. We are also studying selected jails in the state in an effort to to assess the prevalence of mental health cases cycling through five jails. The goal is to connect serious and persistent mental health inmates with Medicaid resources to fund local services in the jail or in an outpatient or inpatient facility.

Hospital-Linked Violence Interruption
ARS is the research partner for the Atlanta Strategies for Policing Innovation (SPI), Program to Interrupt Violence thru Outreach and Treatment (PIVOT), that provides services to trauma center shooting victims and community policing efforts in neighborhoods most blighted by gun violence. The sharing of local emergency department and law enforcement data leads to informed decisions about violence prevention practices (AKA the Cardiff Model). ARS evaluation efforts activities include identifying and onboarding additional local law enforcement departments whose participation in the partnership would improve data quality and targeted interventions.

Data-Driven Strategies for U.S. Attorneys
ARS works with the districts to identify and develop comprehensive strategies to mitigate gun and gang violence, primarily for their Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) and Project Guardian initiatives. These efforts include prevention, intervention, and suppression efforts in communities most blighted by crime and for people most at risk of experiencing violence. ARS is also helping with educating criminal justice professionals, such as on the impact of trauma and provide effective strategies how to develop trauma-informed responses.

Prison Population Forecasting Models to Promote Reform
ARS builds discrete-event simulation models to provide jurisdictions with the capability to conduct and analyze different scenarios to empirically test thousands of “what-if” scenarios to aid policy, legislative, and budgetary decisions. Currently, we are working in Alabama, where the states facing federal intervention, as well as California, which is still subject to oversight stemming from Brown v. Plata. Other sites engaged in reform include Georgia and Tennessee. Previous projects include Canada, South Carolina, Missouri, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Work with Problem-Solving Courts
ARS provides evaluation, consultation, training, and technical assistance services to problem-solving and specialty courts nationwide. We have worked with dozens of problem-solving courts including adult drug courts, mental health courts, family dependency treatment courts, veterans treatment courts, early intervention courts, child support courts, and a court for prostituted women with serious mental illness and substance use disorders.

Evaluating the Impact of Peer Mentors
ARS is conducting a five-year, federally funded evaluation of the impact of specialized peer mentors in the Fulton County (GA) Accountability Courts. ARS is also evaluating the use of Credible Messengers in juvenile and adult reentry programs in metro-Atlanta.

Artificial Intelligence Research and Development to Support Community Supervision
Funded by the National Institute Justice, ARS is supporting RTI International develop and test a predictive algorithm for the risk of technical violations or new crimes for offenders under community supervision with the Georgia Department of Community Supervision (DCS). RTI will work with DCS to incorporate these tools and interface into the DCS case management system.

Pre-Arrest Diversion
ARS has been retained by the Atlanta/Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion (PAD) Initiative to study the nature, location and disposition of 911 Calls for Service in Atlanta. The results of this study will inform the expansion of the PAD Initiative in Atlanta and efforts to identify the degree to which non-law enforcement measures can be dispatched to address citizen concerns, and efforts in the City of Atlanta related to a continuum of alternative diversion needs.

The Impact of Home Visits in Parole
ARS lead a multiagency team for a National Institute of Justice study that examined the context, content, and role of home visits in parole. Findings suggest that each home visit is related to reduced risk of a new felony arrest or a revocation, controlling for criminogenic factors and supervision.

Evaluating Veterans Treatment Courts
ARS conducted a comprehensive three-year evaluation of all 14 Veterans Treatment Courts in Georgia, the largest evaluation of these types of courts at the time. The evaluation methods encompassed formative, process, fidelity of implementation, and outcome evaluation components in documenting the participation of hundreds of veterans in these courts across the state. The results of the evaluation were presented for each of the three years of the project at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) conferences.

Forecasting Problem-Solving and Specialty Court Caseloads
ARS has provided a number of services to Georgia’s Council of Accountability Court Judges, including statewide recidivism studies, a study investigating the “pool” of potential accountability court participants statewide and by judicial circuit, and assisting in helping courts discern the appropriate caseload size based on available resources and demand.

Simulating Forensic Science Needs
ARS built a series of discrete-event simulation models for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Division of Forensic Sciences (State Crime Laboratory) to improve laboratory efficiency, productivity, and optimize staffing/equipment allocation. The models mimic the flow of evidence through the forensic process to measure the effect of staffing, caseload staffing and equipment processing times on case completion times for statewide toxicology services and forensic biology (DNA).

Ballistic Analysis and Forensic Services
Funded by the National Institute of Justice, ARS supported the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Forensic Sciences to study the ballistic services to identify process and efficiency issues to expedite the analysis and prepare of ballistic reports, providing policy and resource direction on who to optimize this section.

Revising the Age of Jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court
Working with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, ARS conducted a comprehensive study to assess the fiscal impact to inform the General Assembly of the fiscal implications of raising the jurisdictional age of juvenile court to include 17-year-olds.

Identifying Criminal Career Pathways to Desistance
ARS merged Georgia juvenile delinquency data (court referrals, assessments, treatment) to adult criminal history data (arrests, convictions) creating longitudinal personal histories for the purpose of identifying criminal career trajectories and pathways to desistance from crime, highlighting the optimal point for intervention.

Evaluating Prisoner Reentry Program: 2nd Chance Act
As part of Governor Nathan Deal’s criminal justice reform, ARS served as the principal evaluator in a Bureau of Justice Assistance Second Chance Grant Act Program. Over 4-years, ARS evaluated a $6 million Prisoner Re-Entry evaluation, analyzing the services, intervention to improve the post-release experience of those released from prison. Specific objectives were to analyze the roles played by the intense interventions on post-release outcomes and recidivism reduction.

Automated Risk Assessment Tools
ARS developed a suite of automated, real-time inmate classification and risk/needs assessment tools for the Georgia Department of Corrections. Operational statewide since 2014 and revalidated in 2019, the algorithms access data from multiple state agencies to make recommendations for inmate housing and program assignments. Our risk tools have also been implemented by paroling authorities and community supervision agencies.

Home    |    Who We Are    |    Our Work    |    Contact Us