RULE 159.00.03-003 - AR 1.9 - Research and Evaluation

RULE 159.00.03-003. AR 1.9 - Research and Evaluation

AR 1.9 RESEARCH AND EVALUATION

I. APPLICABILITY. This policy applies to all Department of Community Correction (DCC) employees and people outside the agency who request and conduct research.

II. POLICY. The DCC encourages programs of research, evaluation, statistics, audit, and planning, including studies and evaluation of the performance of various functions and activities of the department and studies addressing treatment of offenders and programs. Researchers must protect the privacy of individual employees, offenders, and other involved parties and their records.

III. DEFINITIONS.

A. Recidivism. Incarceration of an offender in a prison due to a new felony conviction or revocation for technical violations.

B. Recidivism Study. The collection, analysis, evaluation, and report of recidivism in a particular group of current or former DCC offenders for a period of 3 to 5 years. This does not preclude reports of preliminary results for shorter periods of time.

IV. GUIDELINES. The DCC Management Team should encourage research and evaluation activities and cooperate with qualified outside groups such as colleges and universities or qualified individuals. Researchers will follow approved plans. Employees should cooperate with approved research efforts and bring to the attention of management any research activity that may adversely affect offenders. Research results may be used to analyze the department's present activities and as a guideline for future decision making and policy development. Research plans will require that results be published in a manner that protects the privacy of offenders and staff. Evaluation activities will be based on management-determined needs driven by measuring progress toward goals/objectives and desired outcomes. The process for the submission of research proposals, standards for research, research related activities, and dissemination of research results is as follows:

A. Research Requests.

1. Internal. Research proposals are not required when employees perform research activities within the normal scope of their job duties. However, research projects outside of normal job duties require a formal written proposal processed as described in this policy. Internal research proposals require prior approval of the supervisory chain.

2. Internal and External.

a. The DCC Deputy and Assistant Directors and other designated staff may participate with researchers in deciding what questions should be addressed, what data should be gathered, and how the data should be presented.

b. All research proposals are to be submitted to the Chief Deputy Director using Form 1, Request to Conduct Research. The Chief Deputy Director will request approval by the appropriate Deputy/Assistant Director. The Deputy Director of Residential Services must consider comments from Center Supervisors at affected community correction centers. Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated considering the following:

1) Soundness of research design and methodology.

2) Duplication with other projects currently proposed or underway.

3) Relevance of the proposal in relation to the goals and objectives of the department.

4) Amount and type of assistance required from departmental personnel.

5) Impact on offenders or clients.

c. The Chief Deputy Director will consider comments/approvals, negotiate appropriate revisions, and has final approval authority.

B. Protection of Offenders Involved in Research Projects.

1. Participation. Offender participation in research will be voluntary. Prior to participation in any research activity, Form 2, Informed Consent to Participate in Research, will be completed and signed by the offender. This form is not required when research is limited to review of offender records or general observations are made of offender activities where no record is made of a specific offender's activity.

2. Restrictions.

a. The department will not conduct nor allow others to conduct medical, pharmacological, or cosmetic experiments involving offenders, excluding individual treatment of an offender (based on need) by means of a specific medical procedure not generally available. If an offender's physician determines there is a need to treat the offender with a new medical procedure, it will be through an agreement between the offender and the physician with a full explanation of the positive and negative aspects of the treatment.

b. Offenders may participate in other research activities only when the research does not place the participant at undue risk.

3. Confidentiality. Researchers must safeguard the confidentiality of offenders and offender records used in research projects and guarantee the anonymity of subjects in published findings. Researchers must follow State and federal guidelines for the use and dissemination of research findings and comply with legally acceptable practices concerning consent and release of information. Researchers must complete Form 1, Request to Conduct Research and Form 3, Non-disclosure Agreement, and be in receipt of signed approval prior to initiating research.

4. Review of Research Results. Prior to publication or dissemination a draft of internal and external research results must be forwarded to the Chief Deputy Director. The Chief Deputy Director will ensure that all research project results are reviewed by the appropriate division Deputy/Assistant Director and the Deputy/Assistant Director will ensure review by appropriate Area Managers/Center Supervisors. This review is to allow comment, to ensure that the privacy of offenders and other parties is protected, and to recommend corrections. Department staff involved in research activities who desire to have findings published in a journal or presented to a professional organization must submit the research findings to the DCC Director through the appropriate divisional Deputy/Assistant Directors for review and approval prior to submission.

5. Dissemination of Research Results. The Chief Deputy Director will ensure results of a significant research projects are provided to the appropriate staff and others. Additionally, copies will be made available to the public upon request.

6. Evaluation.

a. The Chief Deputy Director will coordinate data gathering, studies, and evaluations with planning and budgeting activities. Agency information needs will be determined prior to collecting data. DCC will use the recidivism definition for routine recidivism studies. In conducting recidivism studies, it will be as defined in the policy.

b. The Information Technology Administrator will work with staff and researchers to develop and implement appropriate computerized data gathering systems to facilitate data collection, analysis, and control data gathering costs.

V. STANDARDS. American Correctional Association (ACA) Performance-Based Standards for Adult Community Residential Services, 4th edition, standards 4-ACRS-4C-20, 4-ACRS-7D-05[P], 4-ACRS-7D-12; and ACA Standards for Adult Probation/Parole Field Services, 3rd edition, standards 3-3116, 3-3114, 3-3110, 3-3112, and 3-3113.

VI. FORMS.

AR 1.9 Form 1 Request to Conduct Research

AR 1.9 Form 2 Informed Consent to Participate in Research

AR 1.9 Form 3 Non-Disclosure Agreement

(6/12/2003)

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