NPC News 
A periodic update
from NPC Research
Volume 4, Issue 4
Staff Spotlight
Rae Trotta recently joined NPC as a Research Associate and Project Director. In addition to working on several drug court evaluations, she adds research and qualitative capacity to projects studying early childhood literacy and civil right to counsel. She also works to develop new strategies for project management and organizational growth. Prior to NPC, Rae worked as a public health consultant specializing in community engagement, homelessness, and tobacco prevention. She attributes her strongest assets in applied social sciences to her direct service background spanning housing, health, and advocacy working with marginalized communities. 
Rae holds a Master in Public Health in Management and Policy from Portland State University, and has published on youth homelessness, Oregon's safety net health centers, and the patient-centered primary care home. In her spare time Rae is usually hanging out with her cute little family-her wife Dr. Sarah Trotta, their 11-month-old daughter, their dog (Hava), and cat (Moose). Rae is very proud that she has already taught her daughter her first word, which involves a call and response: "Norah, what sound does a dog make?" And then Norah barks, no joke!  
Integrating Strength-based Practices and Trauma-Informed Care in Juvenile Justice Settings

Dr. Juliette Mackin of NPC Research has worked with the Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) for the past decade in a system change effort to incorporate strength-based assessment and other practices into their work with youth. The collaboration began with training staff in a pilot site-a facility with detention and long-term treatment units-and expanded to training throughout the state. Over the past year, Dr, Mackin has worked with DJJ staff and a colleague who is a juvenile counselor on helping further integrate strength-based practices into Alaska's juvenile justice system, through:
  • Meeting with agency administrators, managers, and supervisors,
  • Incorporating strength-based language and questions into the state's data system,
  • Adapting the training curriculum to align with other training content staff receive (in particular, trauma-informed care and adolescent development), and
  • Training a set of staff, who have become local trainers and facilitators across the state, to build local training and implementation capacity. 
Several evaluations have been conducted to look at the impact of this system change on youth, staff, and the facilities overall. One study demonstrated a reduction in "critical incidents" (such as assaults, restraints, threats, etc.) that occurred in the pilot facility before, during, and after the implementation of staff training and strength-based practices. The prevalence of critical incidents decreased from an average of almost 7 per month to fewer than 2 per month. The pilot site also demonstrated over 50% lower recidivism compared to the other facilities. 
If you are interested in expanding your program or state's use of strength-based practices or would like training in this area, please contact Juliette Mackin,, 503-243-2436 x 114.  Click here  to access the Youth Competency Assessment (strength-based assessment tool for juvenile justice involved youth).
NPC is Going to Washington for NADCP!
Staff from the NPC including Shannon Carey and Juliette Mackin will be presenting at the upcoming NADCP conference (July 9-12, Washington, DC) on topics including:
  • Assessing Diversity, Disparity and Best Practices: Results of a 2017 Review of Over 150 Adult Drug Courts and DUI Courts
  • Data Ethics: Confidentiality, Sharing Sensitive Data, Consents, Agreements, Federal & State Laws
  • Delivering Incentives, Sanctions, and Therapeutic Adjustments in the Courtroom:  What Every Judge Needs to Know
  • Evaluation 101 for Non-Researcher Practitioners: What to Collect and How to Use it for Self-Review
  • Healing to Wellness Court:  A National Survey and Latest Research on Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts
  • How Do We Know if We're Doing it Right? Fidelity Matters: Strategies for Achieving and Maintaining Adherence to Best Practices
  • How to Implement Research-Based Best Practices in Your DWI Court
  • Moving Forward - Research Findings, Reflections, and a Roadmap for the Family Drug Court Movement
  • Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation
  • Spotlight on Reentry Courts and Services
  • What's Behind the Curtain? New Research in Juvenile Drug Court Practices  
Presentations by NPC staff will be posted on the NPC website after the conference and also linked in the next issue of this newsletter. Stay tuned!
Program Honors NPC for Flexibility in the Workplace 
When Work Works and The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently recognized NPC Research as a winner of the 2017 When Work Works Award-for the sixth time. According to When Work Works and SHRM, NPC has again distinguished itself as a leading employer of choice by demonstrating success in using flexibility and family friendliness as parts of an effective workplace strategy to achieve business goals and benefit employees by helping them meet their responsibilities on and off the job.
Several NPC staff work remotely from their homes in cities including Eugene (Oregon) and Atlanta (Georgia). These staff occasionally visit the main office in Portland, where most staff work from home 1 or 2 days a week. Those staff with young children are able to arrange their schedules to accommodate key times pertaining to day care and school and to bring children to work with them as needed. Staff sometimes organize unique ways to make work more fun, including Pajama Day (pictured).
Featured Top 10 Drug Court Best Practice for Cost Savings: Quick turnaround of drug test results      
In this ongoing column, we present the Top 10 drug court best practices, one practice at a time with a brief discussion of each practice. In this issue, we present practice #8 in the Top 10 count down of best practices for reducing cost. (See the  full publication on best practices .)
Drug Courts where drug test results were available in 48 hours or less had 68% greater cost savings.
Receiving drug test results rapidly allows the team to respond more efficiently with swift and certain sanctions and incentives. One method that works well for many programs is to use instant-results tests for the majority of drug tests, only sending to a lab for confirmation if the participant continues to deny use after a positive instant result. If the confirmation test comes back positive, the participant pays for that test as part of a sanction for providing false information in addition to any sanction or treatment response for the substance use itself. If the confirmation is negative, then the program pays the testing fee.