U.S. Department of Justice

Evidence-Based Practices

Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) historically comes from the medical field as a method to utilize clinical research findings to improve medical decision making and lower risk.

In corrections, Evidence-Based Practice is the breadth of research and knowledge around processes and tools which can improve correctional outcomes, such as reduced recidivism. Tools and best practices are provided with a focus on both decision making and implementation.

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Former NIC Division Chief, George Keiser, explains evidence-based corrections.

Direct Link: http://community.nicic.gov/files/folders/9085/download.aspx

Recommended Reading

Date Title Type
2010
Document 024372
A Framework for Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems
National Institute of Corrections (Washington, DC). Center for Effective Public Policy (Silver Spring, MD); Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) (Washington, DC); Justice Management Institute (JMI) (Denver, CO); The Carey Group (Viera, FL).
This report is essential reading for individuals wanting to achieve "measurable reductions of pretrial misconduct and post-conviction reoffending" (p.6). Eight sections follow an introduction (a new paradigm for the justice system): underlying premises; the key decision points, decision makers, and stakeholders in the criminal justice system; examining justice system decision making through the lens of harm reduction; the principles underlying the framework; applying evidence-based principles to... Read More
PDF
68 p.
2013
Document 026917
Evidence-Based Practices in the Criminal Justice System: An Annotated Bibliography
National Institute of Corrections Information Center (Aurora, CO).
“What Is the Evidence? Evidence-based policy and practice is focused on reducing offender risk, which in turn reduces new crime and improves public safety. Of the many available approaches to community supervision, a few core principles stand out as proven risk reduction strategies. Though not all of the principles are supported by the same weight of evidence, each has been proven to influence positive behavior change. To organize the research, these core principles have been compiled… into the ... Read More
PDF
82 pages
2011
Document 025475
Return on Investment: Evidence-Based Options to Improve Statewide Outcomes--July 2011 Update
By Aos, Steve; Lee, Stephanie; Drake, Elizabeth; Pennucci, Annie; Klima, Tali; Miller, Marna; Anderson, Laurie; Mayfield, Jim; Burley, Mason. Washington State Institute for Public Policy (Olympia, WA).
An overview is presented of findings (as of July 2011) regarding “a comprehensive list of programs and policies that improve … outcomes for children and adults in Washington and result in more cost-efficient use of public resources” (p. 1). Sections comprising this report are: summary; background; the four-step research approach that assesses what works, calculates costs and benefits and ranks options, measures the risks associated with the analysis, and estimates the impact of various option co... Read More
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8 pages
2011
Document 027114
Evidence-Based Practices (EBPs)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (Rockville, MD). GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation (Delmar, NY).
“In the field of mental health, the term evidence-based practices (EBPs) refers to interventions that have been rigorously tested, have yielded consistent, replicable results, and have proven safe, beneficial, and effective for most people diagnosed with mental illness.” The following five factsheets address EBPs that can be adaptable to criminal justice settings: Assertive Community Treatment (ACT); Supportive Employment; Illness Self-Management and Recovery; Integrated Treatment for Co-Occurri... Read More
WEB

Related Resources

Date Title Type
2015
Document 029784
Performance Incentive Funding for Prison Diversion: An Implementation Study of the DuPage County Adult Redeploy Illinois Program
By Boulger, Jordan; Reichert, Jessica; Skorek, Rebecca; Lettner, Joshua. U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) (Washington, DC). Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) (Chicago, IL).
"Adult Redeploy Illinois (ARI) was designed as a response to the high numbers of non-violent offenders incarcerated in Illinois’ prisons at great cost to the state. Participating ARI counties divert non-violent offenders from prison and into community corrections programs. These programs are less expensive than prison and designed to be more effective at reducing recidivism" (p. i). Sections of this report include: key findings; introduction; about Adult Redeploy Illinois; methodology; findings—... Read More
PDF
74 pages
2014
Document 029836
How Effective is Correctional Education, and Where Do We Go from Here? The Results of a Comprehensive Evaluation
By Davis, Lois M.; Steele, Jennifer L.; Bozick, Robert; Williams, Malcolm V.; Turner, Susan; Miles, Jeremy N.V.; Saunders, Jessica; Steinberg, Paul S.. U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) (Washington, DC). RAND Corp. Safety and Justice Program (Santa Monica, CA).
This study examines the effectiveness of correctional education for adults and for juveniles, and the challenges associated with this programming. Five chapters are contained in this report: introduction; whether correctional education for incarcerated adults is effective; a systematic review of correctional education programs for incarcerated juveniles—results for corrective reading, computer-assisted instruction, personalized and intensive instruction, other remedial instruction programs, voca... Read More
WEB
156 pages
2014
Document 029551
Mandatory Reentry Supervision: Evaluating the Kentucky Experience
Pew Charitable Trusts. Public Safety Performance Project (Washington, DC).
This brief examines the impact a mandatory reentry supervision program has on spending and public safety. Kentucky requires that every inmate that is released from prison undergo post-release supervision to ensure that the inmate has the necessary monitoring and/or support in the community. Results show that the post-release supervision program: "improved public safety by helping reduce new offense rates by 30 percent; resulted in a net savings of approximately 872 prison beds per year; [and] sa... Read More
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6 pages
2014
Document 028062
Beyond Risk and Needs Assessments
By Ore, Winnie; Baird, Chris. National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) (Oakland, CA).
“Most assessment systems target high-risk offenders. However, standard risk and needs assessments do not necessarily identify needs that are truly criminogenic for each individual; nor do they address responsivity. This is because these systems do not inherently identify either specific strategies and programs that reflect the learning style of the offender or approaches and programs most likely to motivate each offender to change behavior. This paper describes a comprehensive approach to assess... Read More
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16 pages
2014
Document 028061
NCCD Compares Juvenile Justice Risk Assessment Instruments: A Summary of the OJJDP-Funded Study
National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) (Oakland, CA).
The results from a study of eight risk assessments used for determining which justice-involved youth are low-, moderate-, or high-risk for future delinquency are reviewed. Sections comprising this summary are: introduction; comparison of juvenile justice risk assessment instruments by agency, risk assessment model, and effectiveness; inter-rate reliability testing; validity and equity testing; and implications for practice. “Risk assessment should be a simple process that is easily understood an... Read More
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8 pages
2014
Document 028476
OJJDP Model Programs Guide
U.S. Dept. of Justice. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) (Washington, DC).
"The Model Programs Guide [MPG] is intended to be a central, reliable, and credible resource to help practitioners and policymakers understand what works in juvenile justice-related programs and practices. Its purpose is to assist in practical decision making and program implementation by gathering information on specific juvenile justice-related programs and reviewing the existing evaluation research against standard criteria … Model Programs Guide (MPG) uses expert study reviewers and CrimeSol... Read More
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2014
Document 028325
PREA Audit Instrument – Community Confinement Facilities
U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) (Washington, DC). National PREA Resource Center (Washington, DC) .
“These documents comprise the instrument that auditors will use to audit the U.S. Department of Justice's PREA Standards for Juvenile Faculties.” Elements comprising this instrument are: “Pre-Audit Questionnaire”; “Auditor Compliance Tool” used to determine PREA compliance; “Instructions for PREA Audit Tour” of the facility; “Interview Protocols” for agency head or designee, facility director or designee, PREA Coordinator, specialized staff, random staff, and residents; “Auditor Summary Report” ... Read More
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2014
Document 028326
PREA Audit Instrument – Juvenile Facilities
U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) (Washington, DC). National PREA Resource Center (Washington, DC) .
“These documents comprise the instrument that auditors will use to audit the U.S. Department of Justice's PREA Standards for Juvenile Faculties.” Elements comprising this instrument are: “Pre-Audit Questionnaire”; “Auditor Compliance Tool” used to determine PREA compliance; “Instructions for PREA Audit Tour” of the facility; “Interview Protocols” for agency head or designee, Superintendent or designee, PREA Compliance Manager/Coordinator, specialized staff, random staff, and residents; “Auditor ... Read More
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2014
Document 028324
PREA Audit Instrument – Lockups
U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) (Washington, DC). National PREA Resource Center (Washington, DC).
“These documents comprise the instrument that auditors will use to audit the U.S. Department of Justice's PREA Standards for Lockups.” Elements comprising this instrument are: “Pre-Audit Questionnaire”; “Auditor Compliance Tool” used to determine PREA compliance; “Instructions for PREA Audit Tour” of the facility; “Interview Protocols” for agency head or designee, facility director or designee, PREA Coordinator, specialized staff, random staff, and detainees: “Auditor Summary Report” template; “... Read More
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2014
Document 027253
PREA Audit Instrument – Prisons and Jails
U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (Washington, DC). National PREA Resource Center (Washington, DC).
“These documents comprise the instrument that auditors will use to audit the U.S. Department of Justice's PREA Standards for Prisons and Jails, pending final revisions.” Elements comprising this instrument are: “Process Map” describing the audit process from start to finish; “Checklist of Documentation”; “Pre-Audit Questionnaire”; “Auditor Compliance Tool” used to determine PREA compliance; “Instructions for PREA Audit Tour” of the facility; “Interview Protocols” for Agency Head or Designee, Wa... Read More
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2013
Document 028352
Risk Assessment Instruments Validated and Implemented in Correctional Settings in the United States: An Empirical Guide
By Desmarais, Sarah L.; Singh, Jay P.. Council of State Governments (CSG) (Lexington, KY).
"Policymakers, practitioners, and researchers rely heavily on risk assessment tools as a way to direct resources and support recidivism reduction strategies. Risk Assessment Instruments Validated and Implemented in Correctional Settings in the United States: An Empirical Guide is a report designed to provide foundational knowledge and a working framework of risk assessment instruments for criminal justice and social service agencies, practitioners, and policymakers. Though variability exists acr... Read More
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Guide - 59 pages; Report - 65 pages
2013
Document 027514
Recommendations for Administrators of Prisons, Jails, and Community Confinement Facilities for Adapting the U.S. Department of Justice’s “A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations, Adults/Adolescents”
U.S. Dept. of Justice. Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) (Washington, DC).
“This guide is designed to assist administrators of prisons, jails, and community confinement facilities in drafting or revising protocols for an immediate response to reports of sexual assault. Sexual assault is a persistent problem in correctional environments with life-altering consequences for victims as well as for the integrity of correctional institutions and the fundamental principles of justice. The U.S. Department of Justice’s “National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Pris... Read More
PDF
66 pages

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Available Training Opportunities

  • Available Online - Program Planning and Design
    This e-course focuses on translating the principles of evidence-based practice into an effective program design.
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