From Policy to Practice A process evaluation of Specialized Substance Abuse Supervision in Nebraska


In 2000, after decades of enacting mandatory minimum sentences and limiting early releases from prison, state leaders in Nebraska recognized the need for a new approach to control prison growth while maintaining public safety and holding people accountable. In 2003, the Legislature created the Community Corrections Council, which was charged with creating a community corrections infrastructure for the state. A cornerstone in the development of a community corrections system in Nebraska is the Substance Abuse Supervision (SSAS), an evidence-based supervision program for prison-bound felony drug offenders and early-release parolees combining treatment with services that address other types of needs. In 2006, the Office of Probation Administration (OPA) piloted SSAS in five sites with the explicit goal of expanding statewide to reduce growth in Nebraska’s prison population. To facilitate a data-driven approach for moving forward, the Vera Institute of Justice conducted a process evaluation of the five pilot SSAS sites to explore the fidelity of program implementation and to better understand factors that influenced program implementation. The goal of this evaluation is to provide feedback to the Council and OPA on both questions to further develop the statewide implementation model.