NPC News 
A quarterly update
from NPC Research
Volume 4, Issue 3
Staff Spotlight
Brian Lee joined NPC in January as a Data Analyst. Transitioning to his new job involved a move from upstate New York to Portland. Brian previously served as an Assistant Director of Admissions Operations in the higher education sector, where he worked extensively with admissions life cycle data. He acted as lead database administrator for systems that housed over 250,000 contact records, and used relational database logic to selectively query distinct populations. He oversaw annual updates to the application for admission, ensuring the integrity and usability of data flowing into multiple information systems. 
Additionally, Brian built numerous statistical models predicting the number of incoming applications to aid in budget and staffing forecasts. He designed, administered, and analyzed experiments across multiple levels to increase the outreach of digital marketing campaigns. Brian is fluent in numerous statistical programming languages. 
An avid baseball fan, Brian is eager to follow his team, the Seattle Mariners, from a few hundred miles away instead of a few thousand. He also enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking the many trails in the area.
Connecting Students with Artists Nurtures College and Career Readiness
A recent NPC study in Oregon showed that after participation in a WoW project (Connecting Students to the World of Work), 59% of students felt more prepared for college, 78% had a better understanding of possible arts-related careers, and 83% said their arts education afforded them skills that they use in other areas of their lives. The Oregon Arts Commission funded WoW grants to support projects that allowed traditionally underserved students to engage in the professional elements of an artistic career. NPC conducted an evaluation of the eight organizations funded in the first 18 months of the grant program.
Through an emphasis on the practical application of knowledge in the workforce, WoW projects contributed to sequential learning for students to build creative and technical skills. WoW projects served more than 250 students in grades 6 through 12 throughout Oregon. Projects connected students with artistic professionals working in a range of creative disciplines (e.g., visual arts, music, theatre, digital design) and offered various formats ranging from one-on-one mentoring to classroom instruction .
Overall, students reported having a clearer sense of the relevance of their education and training for their future and being more aware of the opportunities available to them. Students also developed arts-related skills and valued their arts education for the broader impacts it has on their lives. In addition, the evaluation helped shed light on the types of programming that were the most effective for students.   
Read the Executive Summary of the findings here.
Read the full evaluation report here.
Need Clarity in Defining Case Manager Roles and Responsibilities? A Manual Supports Case Management and Service Delivery in Treatment Courts      
NPC was hired as a contractor by the Alameda County (California) Office of Collaborative Court Services to compile the current best practices in case management into a guide for staff. The manual is a compilation of approaches, policies, and practices of many researchers and practitioners tailored to the needs of collaborative courts in Alameda County. The purpose of the case management manual is t o give the staff clear direction on their job duties and to inform the collaborative court teams about what they can expect from the case managers. 
Case management is the process of identifying a participant's needs and helping the participant access services and other resources to meet those needs. The process has been widely used as an intervention in the treatment of substance abuse problems and with criminal justice populations. Jurisdictions use case management strategies to reduce recidivism and address mental disorders, developmental disabilities, joblessness, homelessness, HIV/AIDS and other serious medical conditions-and substance abuse among arrestees, probationers, and parolees. 
The case management manual includes resource materials ranging from guidance for presenting cases in staffing meetings, to state statutes, information about trauma-informed care, and tips for burnout prevention. For more information about the manual, including adapting it for your program, please contact Juliette Mackin at, or (503) 243-2436 x 114.
Featured Top 10 Drug Court Best Practice for Cost Savings: Semiweekly  Drug Tests     
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 #9 in the Top 10 count down of best practices for reducing cost. (See the  full publication on best practices .)
Drug courts where drug tests were collected at least two times per week in the first phase had 68% greater cost savings.
Drug testing is the only truly objective means drug courts have of assessing whether their services are successfully changing participant drug using behavior. It plays a crucial role in participant success. In focus groups, participants regularly reported that the only thing that kept them from using at the beginning of the program (before they were truly engaged in recovery) was knowing they would be tested and could get caught. Due to the length of time most drugs remain in a person's system, drug testing at least twice per week makes it more difficult for participants to use between tests, particularly if the tests occur on a random schedule. Testing less frequently makes prediction easier so that participants can find times to use without detection.