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SANDAG conducts research to assist policymakers and criminal justice officials as they assess programs for the adult offender population. 

Current Adult Projects 

Proposition 47 County Program Evaluation 

In February 2022, the County of San Diego received Proposition 47 funding from the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to implement a program for low-level adult offenders with a history of housing instability. In September 2022, SANDAG was selected to conduct a process and impact evaluation of the program. The aim is to improve outcomes and reduce recidivism for persons with behavioral health diagnoses as they exit custody. This population tends to face significant barriers to accessing services and are at high risk of poor outcomes, including being homeless or lost to follow-up care upon release. SANDAG will document how the program is implemented, use multiple methods to measure outcomes related to success, and compile lessons learned for replication. 

Project Safe Neighborhoods Research Partner 

As the Research Partner for the Southern District of California, SANDAG will work with regional law enforcement agencies to compile timely statistics related to gun violence, including the use of a firearm in violent crimes, calls for service, and the use of ghost guns. SANDAG will also conduct interviews with arrestees about their use of firearms and ghost guns in crimes. 

Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI)

In December 2021, SANDAG was selected by the County of San Diego to conduct a data-driven project to identify the primary policy drivers which led to reduced incarceration rates during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, we will identify available data, analyze jail population changes, conduct a gap analysis related to services and supports, review best evidence-based practices, make recommendations that incorporate feedback from diverse groups, prepare a comprehensive fiscal analysis, and publish a series of written reports and updates.

Since the final report has been completed, we are no longer accepting public comments via web form. If you would like to be added to this project's email distribution list, or if you have questions about this study, contact

For questions regarding any of these projects, please contact Octavio Rodriguez Ferreira, SANDAG Principal research Analyst, at 619.595.5342 or

ATI Study

Virtual community listening sessions will be held in January 2023 for the public to share their thoughts on the provision of behavioral health services, the County’s justice system, and best practices to alternatives to incarceration.

View the English or Spanish flier.

Virtual community forums were held in June and July 2022 for the public to share their thoughts on the County’s justice system, public safety, and provision of behavioral health services.

View January community listening session presentations

January 31, 2023 – Presentation 

January 25, 2023 – Presentation 

View recordings of the meetings in English or Spanish:

January 31, 2023 - English | Español

January 25, 2023 - English | Español

July 7, 2022 - English | Español

July 5, 2022 - English | Español

June 29, 2022 - English | Español

June 23, 2022 - English 

An important component of this project will be ongoing communication and collaboration with an advisory group formed in March 2022.

View the ATI Advisory Group's membership list and biographies.

View the agendas, presentations, minutes, and videos from previous meetings:

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 4:30-6 p.m. PST
Agenda | SANDAG Presentation |Minutes | Video

Wednesday, November 16, 2022 4:30-6 p.m. PST
Agenda | SANDAG Presentation | Juvenile Justice Commission Presentation | Minutes | Video

Tuesday, October 25, 2022 4:30-6 p.m. PST
Agenda |SANDAG Presentation | Working Group's Intercept Groups Presentation | Health & Human Services and Public Safety Group's Care Coordination/Data Sharing Presentation | Minutes | Video

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 4:30-6 p.m. PST
Agenda | Presentation | Minutes | Video

Tuesday, August 16, 2022 4-5:45 p.m. PST
Agenda | Presentation | Minutes | Video

Wednesday, July 13, 2022 4:30-6 p.m. PST
Agenda | Presentation | Minutes | Video

Thursday, May 26, 2022 4-5:30 p.m. PST
Agenda | Presentation | Minutes | Video

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 4-5:30 p.m. PST
Agenda | Presentation | Minutes | Video

A Working Group of representatives from public safety and health services organizations was formed to provide advice and guidance throughout the project. Please note that representation is agency-based and individual representatives may change over time or from meeting to meeting.

View the ATI Working Group's membership list.

SANDAG invited San Diego County residents to share their thoughts on the County's justice system and public safety. The anonymous survey included questions about being the victim of a crime, being incarcerated, and how public safety efforts can be improved. The survey was open May 6 - June 5, 2022.

View stakeholder survey questions:

Stakeholder Survey
Stakeholder Survey (Español) 

Recent Adult Projects

The Succesful, Treatment, and Reentry (S.T.A.R) project aimed to increase the supervision success of high-risk offenders, especially those who exhibit alcohol and other drug (AOD) and/or mental health issues, by reducing revocations and recidivism through a collaborative, evidence-based probation supervision strategy. This project included the integration of multiple teams under one integrated service approach. Coordinating agencies included Behavioral Health Services, San Diego Probation’s formal supervision division, the Sheriff's in-custody counseling services, and SANDAG as the research partner. Participation in S.T.A.R. included a personalized case plan, which considered client-specific assessment information, developed collaboratively by the service provider and Probation. This project strived to reduce recidivism for medium- and high-risk probationers struggling with mental health, substance abuse, or co-occurring issues by directly addressing these underlying criminogenic needs through treatment services while providing holistic supportive services to ensure long-term success in the community.

San Diego County's Successful Treatment and Reentry (STAR) - CJ Evaluation September 2021 

In 2013, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department and Veterans Affairs (VA) San Diego Healthcare System partnered to create a special housing unit, Veterans Moving Forward (VMF), at the Vista Detention Facility to provide military veterans with a higher level of programming. The goals were to address common issues found in this population and reduce recidivism. Under a National Institute of Justice grant lasting through 2017, SANDAG was selected as the research partner to conduct a formal process and impact evaluation of the VMF program.

Veterans Moving Forward Evaluation Results - March 2019

Veterans Moving Forward Infographic 

With funding from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance, the San Diego City Attorney's Office expanded the San Diego Community Justice Initiative (SDCJI) program by assessing clients on their risk and needs, better linking clients to service providers, strengthening the current documentation effort to ensure decisions and strategies are informed by data, and engaging with the community to a greater degree to ensure restorative justice. SANDAG served as the evaluation partner to measure outcomes for SDCJI clients and a comparison group (including recidivism for up to six months after referral) and to determine if the expansion was implemented as planned.

CJ Summary - San Diego's Community Justice Initiative

San Diego Community Justice Initiative (CJI) Smart Prosecution Initiative: March 2019  

The fundamental philosophy of Proposition (Prop.) 47 is that many individuals with misdemeanor offenses have underlying alcohol and other drug (AOD) or mental health issues that are better addressed in the community than in the justice system. This project served adults who had been cited, arrested, booked into jail, and/or charged or convicted of a misdemeanor offense (either a Prop. 47 eligible or a quality of life offense). The needs of this population are at the root of criminal behavior, contributing to a “revolving door” of engagement with the criminal justice system. Substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, a lack of job skills, and/or a lack of stable housing are often associated with these individuals. Over the course of the three-year grant period, this project employed an evidence-based approach to connect individuals in the misdemeanor system to comprehensive substance use disorder treatment, housing (when needed), and a range of supportive services. The core project activities were based on best practices, including assessment-based treatment planning and placement, housing support, employment resources, and holistic supportive services to meet the individual’s diverse needs.

Prop 47 Grant Program 2-Year Interim Report

Prop 47 Grant Program 2-Year Interim Report Short Summary

Prop 47 Grant Program Final Evaluation Report

Prop 47 Grant Program Final Report Highlights 

SANDAG was contracted to assist the San Diego County Probation Department in measuring its adoption of evidence-based practices (EBP) in the Post-Release Offender Division by evaluating how effectively and to what extent Probation implemented the four components of EBP.

Smart Probation Report 2015 

High recidivism rates among parolees in California, particularly for technical parole violations, contributed significantly to prison overcrowding. In response, State Senator Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) spearheaded Senate Bill (SB) 618, which was passed into law on January 1, 2006. SB 618 is based on the concept that providing tangible reentry support services increases parolees’ success in the community. Under the bill, San Diego was the first and only county in California authorized to create a multi-agency plan to develop policies and programs to educate and rehabilitate non-violent felony offenders. Partners in the multi-agency plan included the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (Parole, R. J. Donovan Correctional Facility, and the California Institution for Women), the San Diego County Probation Department, the Sheriff ’s Department, the District Attorney’s Office, and the Defense bar. Post-release case management services were provided by the University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, Center for Criminality and Addiction Research, Training, and Application (UCSD CCARTA) through a subcontract with the County. 

SB 618 Eligibility

SB 618 Life Plan and Benchmarks

SB 618 Program Overview

CJ Fax July 2012 - How Does the SB 618 Experience Inform AB 109?

Improving Reentry for Ex-Offenders in San Diego County: SB 618 Final Evaluation Report

Improving Re-entry for Ex-offenders in San Diego County: SB 618 Fourth Annual Evaluation Report

Improving Reentry for Ex-Offenders in San Diego County: SB 618 Third Annual Evaluation Report

Improving Reentry for Ex-Offenders in San Diego County: SB 618 Third Annual Evaluation Report - Executive Summary 

As part of San Diego County’s implementation of Assembly Bill (AB) 109 (Public Safety Realignment), the San Diego County Probation Department, on behalf of the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP), contracted with SANDAG to conduct a process and impact evaluation utilizing multiple methodologies. The evaluation documented the implementation of the CCP’s AB 109 Implementation Plan and measured associated outcomes, including the efficient use of jail capacity, incorporation of reentry principles into in-custody programming, and use of evidence-based practices (EBP) in supervision, case management, and sentencing.