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Evidence-based Practices (EBP) - EBP Implementation

The purpose of this briefing paper is to provide policymakers with an introduction and overview of the key concepts and issues associated with the identification and use of EBPs in criminal justice. 

This monograph is “intended to strengthen and improve the dissemination of evidence-based rehabilitative technologies for offenders, within the multidisciplinary context of correctional treatment” (p.x). Sections of this document include: executive summary; introduction — effective clinical practices and the critical need for collaboration; what evidence-based practice (EBP) is; overarching principles of effective correctional treatment; common therapeutic factors — what works in treatment generally; specific evidence-based modalities for criminal justice clients; and conclusion—what have we lost. There are four appendixes: confidentiality in correctional treatment; the separate and complementary functions of corrections and treatment; coerced treatment; and quality assurance.

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"EBDM is a strategic and deliberate method of applying empirical knowledge and research-supported principles to justice system decisions made at the case, agency, and system level. The initiative team developed the EBDM framework, which posits that public safety outcomes will be improved when justice system stakeholders engage in truly collaborative partnerships, use research to guide their work, and work together to achieve safer communities, more efficient use of tax dollars, and fewer victims. The goal of [National Institute of Corrections'] Evidence-Based Decision Making Initiative is to build a systemwide framework (arrest through final disposition and discharge) that will result in more collaborative, evidence-based decision making and practices in local criminal justice systems. The initiative is grounded in the knowledge accumulated over two decades on the factors that contribute to criminal reoffending and the processes and methods the justice system can employ to interrupt this cycle of reoffensed decisions can produce more effective policy decisions, and as a result, better outcomes for the community." Information about the NIC EBDM initiative can be found here. Points of access are: home--introduction; framework; phases—Phase I Framework Development, Phase II Planning Process, Phase III Implementation, and Phase IV Expansion to Statewide Structure, and Phase V - Building EBDM Capacity at the Individual, Agency, and System Levels; pilot sites—links to webpages with information about each of the seven pilot sites about: the EBDM stakeholders (i.e., the vision for EBDM, the EDBM executive committee composition, and what stakeholders in the pilot site are saying about the EBDM initiative), harm reduction goals, and material produced by the pilot site about EBDM in their jurisdiction; EBDM Roadmap Starter Kit—Activity 1--Build a genuine, collaborative policy team; Activity 2--Build individual agencies that are collaborative and in a state of readiness for change, Activity 3--Understand current practice within each agency and across the system, Activity 4--Understand and have the capacity to implement evidence-based practices, Activity 5--Develop logic models, Activity 6--Establish performance measures, determine outcomes, and develop a system scorecard, Activity 7--Engage and gain the support of a broader set of stakeholders and the community, and Activity 8--Develop a strategic action plan for implementation; documents—"Press Release Mesa County [CO]", "A Framework for Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems (A Work In Progress, Third Edition)", and the "EBDM Readiness Checklist"; and related publications.

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"The Evidence-based Practice Skills Assessment (EBPSA) is a self-report measurement tool designed to gauge the extent to which correctional staff demonstrate the skills necessary to successfully implement Evidence-based Practices (EBP)” (p. 5). The EBPSA guide summarizes how using the EBPSA can enhance an organization’s ability to become a more effective evidence-based organization. A brief overview describes the development of the EBPSA. Additional sections address reliability analysis, scoring keys for each EBPSA form, and how to utilize the information obtained from the assessments.

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Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) is an approach used in numerous professions that focuses on attention on evidence quality in decision making and action. We review research on EBP implementation, identifying critical underlying psychological factors facilitating and impeding its use.

Researchers of criminal behavior are taking a more data-driven approach to community corrections. Rather than focusing solely on professional experience or anecdotal successes — key factors that often drive public policy in social services — they are identifying evidence-based practices that rely on empirical research and produce measurable outcomes. The challenge for providers is to bridge the gap between theoretical best practices and practicable intervention models that reduce recidivism rates and keep communities safe. One organization that is finding success in bridging this gap is Massachusetts-based Roca, Inc. (p. 1)

With increased attention on the criminal justice system's use of evidence-based practices, focus is needed on the quality of practice implementation and its impact on outcomes. This article defines evidence-based practices, discusses the importance of effective implementation, and outlines the drivers for organizational and operational change.

A “guide for [community corrections] agencies to transform themselves into evidence-based organizations” is provided (p.xv). Six chapters follow an executive summary: what evidence-based practice is; the integrated model; the principles of effective intervention; implementing evidence-based principles; leading organizational change and development; and collaboration for systemic change. The appendixes include: research support gradient; the search conference; and key concepts in organizational development.

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Principles of effective evidence-based intervention are presented. Topics discussed include: evidence-based practice (EBP); term clarification; eight principles for effective interventions -- assess actuarial risk/needs, enhance intrinsic motivation, target interventions, skill train with directed practice, increase positive reinforcement, engage ongoing support in natural communities, measure relevant processes/practices, and provide measurement feedback; components of correctional interventions; implementing EBP principles; applying the principles at the case, agency, and system levels; seven recommended strategies for implementing effective interventions; and levels of research evidence.

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If you are looking for an excellent introduction to how to implement evidence-based practices (EBPs) in your juvenile agency, then this webinar is for you. Topics discussed include: how to identify EBPs; best proven model programs; advantages of proven EBPs; getting customer buy-in for EBP implementation; facing agency challenges during EBP adoption; key drivers; embedding EBPs in a juvenile justice agency; referral and engagement-- data collection; data collection example; analyzing family engagement barriers; family engagement strategies; EBP implementation—Inter-operability Framework; funding and sustainability; and EBP implementation in 8 states.

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