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Spectrum’s Rapid Referral Program Gets Dramatic Results

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Rapid Referral Program PhotoIn January, the New York Times featured an article about the success and innovation of our Rapid Referral Program—a program that provides immediate outpatient substance abuse assessment and treatment for teenagers and young adults who have committed a crime related to drug or alcohol abuse.

Last fall, we wanted to see how well the program was working, so we had it independently evaluated by the Vermont Center for Justice Research. The center found that among the program participants, only 18.7% went on to commit another crime—whereas among the control group, 84.3% recidivated. Read their full report here.

The photo below was taken the day Spectrum’s own Annie Ramniceanu and retired Chittenden Superior Court Judge Ben Joseph received the Antonio B. Pomerleau Medal of Honor from the Queen City Police Foundation for this program they created to try to stem the large number of drug-related offenses showing up in court.

“In the past I have turned down awards. I wanted to accept this one because I wanted to tell the work how important this program is,” said Judge Joseph—adding that he would like to see the program become statewide.

Encouraging others to rigorously evaluate their programs, Annie said, “Good intentions don’t often bring good results. Science brings good results.  “We cannot just lead with heart and souls. We have to know the impact we are having and stand behind it.”

Annie Ramniceanu was interviewed on WCAX’s The 30 about the program. You can watch it here.

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