Prison and Justice Initiatives - Philliber Research & Evaluation

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Prison and Justice Initiatives

Change Is Possible! was a three-year, multi-site intervention conducted in four women's correctional facilities in Tennessee. The quasi-experimental evaluation used quantitative and qualitative methods to assess the effectiveness of the initiative's comprehensive, evidence-based life skills education program and its therapeutically structured re-entry program for female prisoners.

JusticeCorps is an AmeriCorps funded program, administered by the Judicial Council of California, located in four regions in California (Bay Area, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego). Six study sites were selected to participate in a quantitative and qualitative examination of their outcomes which included documentation of program delivery, client satisfaction, and best practices observations. Philliber executed the evaluation and produced reports.

Peer Courts are premised on the belief that peer influence, when properly focused, can be a powerful weapon against juvenile crime. Students may assume the role of attorneys, court staff, judges, and jurors in a trial to determine what should happen to a peer who has violated the law. Peer court programs also provide services to schools through a prevention curriculum on the juvenile justice system. Philliber conducted an evaluation of a DUI prevention curriculum and companion website at teen peer courts in California for the Judicial Council of California. Pre, post and follow-up surveys were administered with youth and parents who received the curriculum in order to assess program effectiveness. Interviews were conducted with program administrators and trainers to assess the utility of the curriculum and observations were made at courts demonstrating best practices. Website usability and usefulness were also assessed.

REACHH was funded through a Healthy Marriage and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood grant from the Office of Family Assistance. Shelby County Department of Corrections offered male inmates an integrated fatherhood/marriage and family strengthening program designed to provide education, skills and support to male prisoners with children. The evaluation tracked father/child participation in the program and, using quantitative and qualitative measures, assessed improvements in the men's understanding of their role as fathers.

The Bedford State Correctional Facility, a New York State prison for women, provided an HIV prevention education program for inmates for three years. Philliber developed and maintained an evaluation system to monitor changes in knowledge and risk reduction among inmates enrolled in the program.

The Juvenile Crime Prevention Demonstration Project (JCPDP) was a five-year effort to reduce juvenile crime and delinquency. Funded by the California Office of Substance Abuse Prevention, the 12-site initiative implemented five proven effective strategies. Philliber designed and successfully implemented a process and outcome evaluation. In the five years of the program, Philliber maintained a database, designed and administered self-report forms for program participants and their families, conducted regular site visits that included staff and participant interviews, as well as focus groups with relevant stakeholders. Philliber also trained and supervised unaffiliated community residents as they conducted a door-to-door survey assessing community opinions and attitudes toward juvenile crime and related factors. The survey was an integral part of community mobilization. We produced and delivered quarterly and annual reports that tracked program and individual progress over the five-year grant period.

The New Mexico Young Fathers Program serves adolescent fathers, half of whom are incarcerated. The program seeks employment for these fathers and encourages them to assume active roles as fathers to their children. Philliber has been collecting and analyzing data for this program for more than 10 years.

The State of New York, Masters of Sociology Program was the first full-time graduate education program in a maximum security prison in the United States. William Philliber, who was chair of the Department of Sociology, was asked by the Department of Corrections to establish and operate a program leading to a Masters of Arts in Sociology at Eastern New York Correctional Facility. William Philliber directed the program while Susan Philliber took responsibility for supervising students working on theses. The Department of Corrections permitted students to conduct random surveys of inmates and data from those surveys were analyzed to create original research. The Phillibers worked with inmates to design surveys, carry out data collection, and conduct analysis of data using computers purchased by a grant from the Methodist Church. Several of the reports were published in professional journals.

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