Social Justice & Policy

SIROW engages in multiple strategies to contribute to a more just and equitable society, including advocating for policy change. Although all SIROW work aims to advance social justice, the following list of projects particularly exemplify SIROW’s work in this area.

Current Projects

ASAP stands for Access to Syringes at Pharmacies. This pharmacy‐based intervention study develops and tests a pharmacy-based intervention to increase non-stigmatized syringe sales in community pharmacies located in 3 Arizona counties with high rates of hepatitis C and HIV (Pima, Maricopa and Mohave). This 2-year project involves collaborative intervention with pharmacy staff and beta testing of the resulting intervention. The project emerged from a SIROW-led study of pharmacy-based syringe purchase experiences among people who inject drugs in Arizona and Indiana. Collaborators include the UArizona College of Pharmacy, the Arizona Pharmacy Association, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, Phoenix Community Consulting, and the Indiana University School of Public Health (SIROW leads research).

Contact: Beth Meyerson, bmeyerson@arizona.edu

SIROW project team: Beth Meyerson, Keith Bentele

Project partners: UArizona College of Pharmacy, the Arizona Pharmacy Association, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, Phoenix Community Consulting, and the Indiana University School of Public Health

Location: SIROW Main campus, 925 N Tyndall Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721

This project is a binational collaboration between SIROW, University of Sonora (UNISON), and other partners in Mexico. This project is focused on improving the prison system by developing educational opportunities to support the engagement of people who are incarcerated in personal development and change as well as to develop marketable skills.

Contact: Rosi Andrade, rosia@arizona.edu

Project partners: UArizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Mexico Initiatives, University of Sonora (UNISON)

Location: SIROW Central, 3776 N. 1st Ave., STE. 102, Tucson, AZ 85719

COVID as a window.jpg

SIROW research team for COVID as a window of opportunity project
SIROW's "COVID as a window of opportunity to improve the system of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) in Arizona" project team

This policy impact study measures the degree to which Arizona providers of methadone and buprenorphine (suboxone, etc.) implement the temporary federal policies to expand access to MOUD during COVID and factors predicting this implementation. We also measure MOUD patient experience during COVID while attempting to or accessing MOUD and continue recovery, and the impact of community‐civic engagement to convey results to policymakers. A tribal collaboration component will develop a collaborative MOUD research agenda with tribal partners for future funding. A statewide civic engagement process involving people with lived experience (drug use) and providers of methadone and buprenorphine will convey evidence from the study to state and federal policy makers as well as MOUD practitioners. The study is a community-based participatory and action project as it was brought to SIROW collaborators from community partners, collectively developed and implemented.  Collaborators include the Arizona statewide Drug Policy Research and Advocacy Board (DPRAB), UA College of Public Health, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Sonoran Prevention Works, and Southwest Recovery Alliance.  

Contact: Beth Meyerson, bmeyerson@arizona.edu

SIROW project team: Beth Meyerson, Keith Bentele, Brenda Granillo

Project partners: Arizona statewide Drug Policy Research and Advocacy Board (DPRAB), UA College of Public Health, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Sonoran Prevention Works, Southwest Recovery Alliance

Location: SIROW Main campus, 925 N Tyndall Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721

The Pima County Behavioral Health Department (PCBH) contracts with several local organizations that provide discretionary and legally mandated support services for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking. These organizations have partnered with Pima County to build the Pima County Domestic Violence Coalition, a partnership of providers focused on efficient use of resources to better serve victims and survivors. The Coalition has partnered with the SIROW to create a needs assessment designed to study community services at a systems-level. The purpose of the needs assessment is to

  1. identify barriers and facilitators to seeking service;
  2. use data to gain visibility on how to close service gaps and guide sustainable policy decisions;
  3. research potential community-level benefits and risks associated with different service models (e.g. centralized vs. scattered-site models); 
  4. Establish quality improvement measures at a systems-level and create an ongoing feedback loop to ensure services are accessible, equitable, and responsive to community needs.

Contact: Claudia Powell, claudiap@arizona.edu

SIROW project team: Claudia Powell, Stephanie Murphy

Project partners: Pima County Behavioral Health Department, Pima County Domestic Violence Coalition

Location: SIROW Main campus, 925 N Tyndall Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721

A collaborative review of domestic violence related deaths in Pima County to determine how agencies might improve services for people experiencing intimate partner violence.

Contact: Claudia Powell, claudiap@arizona.edu

Location: SIROW Main campus, 925 N Tyndall Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721

SIROW and the Law Department at the University of Sonora (UNISON) are developing a binational (US-MX) interdisciplinary research team focusing on human rights of, health needs of, and access to care for returnees or people in transit in the United States-México borderlands. SIROW and UNISON have vast research experience on migrant health issues (e.g., women and mixed-status families, migrant agricultural workers and indigenous populations of México). The binational team will:

  1. Identify non-profit community centers/health clinics that serve migrant communities; and
  2. Rely on qualitative and quantitative exploration of both offers and barriers to meet public and private health needs, patterns of search and demand for care and the social integration of mobile persons, with a focus on chronic, infectious or emerging diseases related to return migration.

Contact: Rosi Andrade, rosia@arizona.edu

Project partners: UArizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Mexico Initiatives, University of Sonora (UNISON)

Location: SIROW Central, 3776 N. 1st Ave., STE. 102, Tucson, AZ 85719

Completed Projects

Completed projects are listed in alphabetical order.

Contact: Sally Stevens, sstevens@email.arizona.edu

A research, policy and advocacy project that addresses social justice hazards facing youth and their families involved in the juvenile justice system.

Contact: Monica Davis, midavis@email.arizona.edu

This project is a multi-site national evaluation of the Juvenile Drug Court and Reclaiming Futures Initiative (JDC/RF) to improve the effectiveness and efficacy of juvenile drug courts. The initiative is aimed at rehabilitating nonviolent, substance-abusing youth by integrating two models, the Juvenile Drug Court: Strategies in Practice and the Reclaiming Futures models. We are implementing a cross-site evaluation plan with both quantitative and qualitative methods inclusive of process, outcome, and cost-effectiveness analyses that will provide a comprehensive and robust evaluation of the JDC/RF initiative to identify the factors, elements, and services that perform best with respect to outcomes and cost-effectiveness. This project is funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) through an interagency agreement with the Library of Congress.

Integration of the Juvenile Drug Court and Reclaiming Futures Models

The JDC/RF evaluation team seeks to examine what processes lead to effective integration of the two models. This requires an understanding of the problems the two models seek to address, the goals and objectives of integration, and the key activities and output and outcome measures which can be used to measure successful model integration. The following links include the Integrated Logic Model as well as presentations focusing on program integration:

Cost Analysis and Program Evaluation

The successful integration of the two models into existing systems of care can be challenging.  It is important to measure program performance along the way to ensure that the needs of the target population are being met in the most cost effective manner.

Watch Video

The following presentations from the National Cross-Site Evaluation focus on cost analysis and program evaluation.

Clients of Juvenile Drug Court/Reclaiming Futures Programs

The JDC/RF Evaluation Team collects a variety of data on the clients served by these juvenile drug court programs.  These data are analyzed to determine a broad range of the characteristics of the clients being served, the activities clients regularly engage in, the resources available and utilized in the local community, and services clients receive as a result of program participation. The following links are reports from the National Cross-Site Evaluation on these data:

Individuals or Personnel Working With Juvenile Drug Court/Reclaiming Futures Programs

The JDC/RF Evaluation Team also collects a variety of data on the individuals directly employed by and working closely with the juvenile drug court programs.  These data are analyzed to determine how staff are trained to provide service to youth and integrate the two models, as well as how the programs are perceived in the local professional community. The following links are reports from the National Cross-Site Evaluation on these data:

Policy Briefs from the National Cross-Site Evaluation of Juvenile Drug Courts and Reclaiming Futures

Publications from the National Cross-Site Evaluation

Other National Cross-Site Evaluation Research

In this presentation, Dr. Rodney Haring (Seneca Nation), a member of the JDC/RF qualitative analysis team, discusses what researchers and treatment providers should consider when working with Native Americans, including historical environmental influences, confidentiality, tribal differences and styles of communication.

Other National Cross-Site Evaluation Research

In this presentation, Dr. Rodney Haring (Seneca Nation), a member of the JDC/RF qualitative analysis team, discusses what researchers and treatment providers should consider when working with Native Americans, including historical environmental influences, confidentiality, tribal differences and styles of communication.

Watch Video

SIROW wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the evaluation sites and the evaluation partners, Chestnut Health Systems and Carnevale Associates LLC to this National Cross-Site Evaluation.  In addition, SIROW is appreciative of support from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Reclaiming Futures National Program Office, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

Final Report

National Cross-Site Evaluation of Juvenile Drug Courts and Reclaiming Futures: Final Report, December 2015

Contact: Sally Stevens, sstevens@email.arizona.edu

Research and publication of a white paper on burdens that Arizona’s justice-involved youth and their families face along with promising court practices.

Report: Wellbeing of Juvenile Justice-involved Youth in Arizona