The UCSD Center for Criminality and Addiction Research, Training and Application (CCARTA) was established in 1999 by
Dr. David Deitch, subsequent to a UCSD Pacific Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) grant awarded by SAMHSA, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment in 1993. The
Center is a part of the UCSD School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. Since 2006 the Center is directed by
Dr. Igor Koutsenok.
Over the last 20 years, we have designed and delivered numerous trainings, competency building and technical assistance programs in California, throughout the U.S., and internationally, particularly in building addiction treatment skills in various professionals working with justice-involved clients. Simultaneously we were contacted to provide policy advice and training resources to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as it mounted a statewide initiative to provide treatment of justice-involved clients with substance use disorders in prisons and community care settings. These policy and integration needs led to the development of many cutting-edge interventions, particularly bringing both treatment and custody staff into shared skill-building and problem-solving events subsequently named "Cross-Training."
At the same time, we've hosted representatives of Departments of Corrections from Oregon, Texas, Washington, Massachusetts, as well as California, and together created assessment instruments for ex-offenders reentering society of ex-offender to better assure appropriate placements relevant to their needs. This led to further calls from other U.S. states, and countries from Europe, Asia, and Southeast Asia. As a result of all these activities we were also asked to develop research endeavors of impact on both institutions and their respective staff based on these initiatives. Within our Department of Psychiatry and among our center staff we decided in 1999 to rename our center and its activity to Center for Criminality & Addiction Research, Training & Application - “CCARTA."
A program within the UCSD School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, CCARTA is devoted to workforce competence in addiction and mental health services. The organization brings in-house trainers, national and international academic and multidisciplinary professional experts together for conferences, symposia, technical assistance, counselor certification and professional development, case management, and continuous quality improvement purposes.
CCARTA has successfully performed multi-year grants and contracts with federal, state, and local agencies of government and private foundations toward improvement of addiction treatment. These agencies have included SAMHSA’s CSAT and CSAP, NIAAA, NIDA, NIMH, Center for Disease Control, California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Office of Traffic Safety, San Diego County Department of Health Services, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, Scaife Family Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and United Nations.