Cover: Implementation and Outcome Evaluation of LA DOOR: A Proposition 47-Funded Program in Los Angeles

Implementation and Outcome Evaluation of LA DOOR: A Proposition 47-Funded Program in Los Angeles

Cohort 2 Final Evaluation Report

Published May 24, 2023

by Melissa M. Labriola, Danielle Sobol, Heather Sims, Stephanie Brooks Holliday

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Research Questions

  1. How is LA DOOR Cohort 2 being implemented?
  2. Is LA DOOR Cohort 2 achieving its intended outcomes?

The Los Angeles Diversion, Outreach, and Opportunities for Recovery (LA DOOR) program is a Proposition 47–funded program designed by the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office (LACA) to provide a comprehensive, health-focused, preventative approach that proactively engages individuals at elevated risk of returning to LACA on a new misdemeanor offense related to substance use, mental illness, or homelessness.

This report documents the findings of a process and outcome evaluation of Cohort 2 of the LA DOOR program, covering services provided from January 2020 through February 2023. The goal of this evaluation is to better understand how the LA DOOR program was implemented and examine the effect of the program on various outcomes. This report describes an overview of the program, evaluation methods, the logic model that guided the evaluation, findings from stakeholder interviews and client focus groups, and analyses of program data. Qualitative interviews and focus groups revealed key strengths and challenges of the program and focused on specific challenges of operating during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Analyses of quantitative data describe the population of clients who are receiving LA DOOR services, the needs of that population, and the services provided. Together, these findings shed light on opportunities for future program implementation and evaluation.

Interested stakeholders of this report include LACA, the California Board of State and Community Corrections, and the City of Los Angeles, as well as other entities that provide supportive services to criminal justice populations or that might be interested in implementing a similar program.

Key Findings

  • LA DOOR enrolled 1,102 individuals, which makes the program well positioned to meet the anticipated total caseload of 750 clients during the grant cycle.
  • In 59 percent of cases, LA DOOR accomplished its goal of working with each client for at least two months once the client enrolls in the program.
  • LA DOOR clients represent a hard-to-treat population with important psychosocial needs: 62 percent of clients had substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health conditions, and many clients lack stable housing and income sources.
  • LA DOOR clients reported that housing continues to be a significant need; both quantitative data and focus groups suggest that clients found housing services to be among the most important LA DOOR services. In addition, clients expressed concerns about the difficulty of navigating the bureaucratic processes associated with being linked to transitional and permanent housing, unsanitary and unsafe shelter conditions, and long wait times for Section 8 housing.
  • LA DOOR project staff and partners discussed the many challenges related to service access and availability during the COVID-19 pandemic, notably including the following: heavy caseloads, lack of LA DOOR–funded training, decreased COVID-19–related services, cumbersome bureaucratic processes, and increased medical needs (primarily because of fentanyl use).
  • LA DOOR partners maintain program fidelity, and LA DOOR clients continue to express gratitude for and high satisfaction with LA DOOR and the services it provides.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by the California Board of State and Community Corrections and conducted in the Justice Policy Program within RAND Social and Economic Well-Being.

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