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Transforming Reentry Services Spotlight

Apr 02, 2024

With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in partnership with the University of Washington (UW), the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) funded the Advancing Harm Reduction through Data Analysis & Evaluation project to promote monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of syringe services programs (SSPs) and support the use of data for SSP program improvement.

The purpose of this funding opportunity was to support and build capacity for data analysis and evaluation at SSPs. The funding opportunity was also designed to support SSPs in using data for program and policy improvement and inform future technical assistance opportunities by identifying lessons learned and best practices for the field and identifying models and best practices for data analysis at SSPs of varied capacity.

Over the next few months, NACCHO will be highlighting a few SSP grantees, from their successes to lessons learned throughout the project. Our second highlighted site is Transforming Reentry Services, an organization that works to “combine services, advocacy, and research to fill in the gaps in the systems, restore families, and build economic and political power.”

When speaking with representatives of Transforming Reentry Services, they explained that through this grant, they “focused on transitioning [their] data collection from paper & pen to digital.” They implemented the use of iPads, REDCap, and Tableau after hearing how successful these methods were for other grantees.

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“This project empowered us to actually look at the amount and type of services we provide and helps us understand which services clients are using the most and in what combination,” they explained. “It has also allowed us the opportunity to really look at what drugs are being used and what materials are needed so we can better service the community of PWUD.”

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When asked about the top lessons learned from this work, they replied, “The technology gap between historically disenfranchised communities and even working-class communities is vast and contributes to the ongoing inequity in service provision and systematic expectations.” Consequently, timelines for implementing new technology can be quite “arbitrary” and unique to a specific organization or group. “Trying to accomplish timelines that do not truly meet both staff and community where they are at can be harmful to staff who are developing new skills in order to use technology.”

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To check out more of Transforming Reentry Services’ incredible work, take a look at their website here.


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