NIATx Change Leader Academy for Criminal Justice

Submitted by: 08/05/2013 by Maureen Fitzgerald

NIATx learning collaboratives in the criminal justice system have shown how the NIATx model of process improvement can help complex systems work together to help addicted offenders.

This fall (October 1–2), NIATx is offering a “special session” Change Leader Academy in Madison, Wisconsin, specifically for professionals from the criminal justice system: drug courts, offender re-entry programs, and promising practice programs.

“The original NIATx projects with substance abuse treatment organizations identified barriers to treatment access and retention,” says Mark Zehner, NIATx Associate Researcher. “Applying NIATx in criminal justice has uncovered some easy ways to remove process barriers in both corrections and treatment systems, with great results.”

For example, many of the sites participating the NIATx Learning Collaborative for SAMHSA Adult Treatment Drug Court Program (2010–2012) reduced waiting times to treatment, increased referrals and admission to treatment, and decreased no-shows.

A second learning collaborative for Offender Reentry Programs also produced positive results, increasing admissions in outpatient treatment among people just released from prison.

“These programs used the NIATx approach to remove barriers to treatment that their clients were facing in making the transition from prison to the community,” says Zehner, who led both collaboratives.  

The October NIATx Change Leader Academy will train participants on the essential key NIATx tools and practices customized for staff working with criminal justice populations. “We’ll spend some time discussing the concept of the customer in criminal justice, and the challenges of making effective changes in complex cross-systems programs,” says Zehner.

Participants earn up to 12 CEUs for attending the two-day workshop in Madison. Six months of phone and e-mail support from an expert NIATx coach follow; during that time, participants work on improvement projects at their own organizations. Those who complete an improvement project earn certification as NIATx Change Leaders. 

Click here for more information on the Criminal Justice Change Leader Academy.

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