California's Substance Abuse Services Coordinating Agency System: A "Third-Party Coordination" Model for Ensuring Continuity of Care Among Parolees From Prison-Based Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

William M. Burdon, UCLA Drug Abuse Research Center
Nena Messina, UCLA Drug Abuse Research Center
Michael L. Prendergast, UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs

This paper presents an overview of the Substance Abuse Services Coordinating AGency (SASCA) system for transitioning parolees from prison- to community-based treatment. The SASCA network was established in 1998 and is funded by the California Department of Corrections (CDC). At its core are four agencies located in each of the state's four parole regions, whose primary function is to provide a structured means of transitioning parolees from prison- to community-based substance abuse treatment and to monitor their participation and progress in aftercare, thus ensuring a seamless continuum of care. The SASCA system represents a "Third-Party Coordination" continuity of care model, where a third party acts as a broker of services and coordinates the parolee's release and transition into aftercare (CSAT, 1998). In addition to presenting an overview of the sASCA system, this paper will highlight structural and operational issues relating to the model. Also, using data collected from a 5-year process evaluation of prison-based substance abuse treatment programs, data will be presented pertaining to the utilization of aftercare through the SASCA network by parolees from prison-based treatment programs, including rates of aftercare utilization, types of aftercare utilized, length of time spent in treatment, and its relationship to reincarceration rates.

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Updated 05/20/2006