Harry K. Wexler, PhD, an internationally recognized scientific expert with a long record of research in correctional substance abuse services and outcomes, among other areas, has been retained as Senior Research Advisor for Spectrum Health Systems, Inc., a non-profit behavioral health organization headquartered in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Wexler's work has been instrumental in establishing the effectiveness and return-on-investment of providing publicly funded drug treatment in jails, prisons and community corrections settings. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, chapters, studies and books—and has been a senior advisor to SAMHSA, DOJ, NIC and NIDA.
He co-led a workgroup that developed CSAT's TIP #44—Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the Criminal Justice System. As principal investigator on several national research projects, his works have influenced public policy and funding at a national level, beginning with Project REFORM, and the long-term study of exemplary, non-profit operated therapeutic community (TC) programs in State prisons—originally contributing to the base of evidence resulting in the establishment of the federal Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program for State prisoners.
Spectrum Health Systems operates correctional substance abuse treatment programs in eight states, implementing its evidence-supported, curriculum-driven TC approach, the Correctional Recovery Academy (CRA) for over 18 years. Dr. Wexler will initially assist in evaluating the effectiveness of Spectrum's programs in Maine, Georgia, Tennessee, Massachusetts and Washington State.
Following his preliminary review of the available data, Dr. Wexler commented that: "The results of Spectrum's programs appear on the surface to be very favorable compared with similar programs. They are clearly worthy of closer study and comparative research. And, I look forward to examining the results, as they will contribute to the evidence of the effectiveness of correctional drug treatment in the United States."