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Evidence-based Practices (EBP) - EBP in a Variety of Criminal Justice Settings

The use of cost-effective evidence-based practices to reduce offender recidivism, crime rates, and costs is explained. Strategies covered are: establish recidivism reductions as an explicit sentencing goal; provide sufficient flexibility to consider recidivism reduction options; base sentencing decisions on risk/needs assessment; require community corrections programs to be evidence-based; integrate services and sanctions; ensure courts know about available sentencing options; encourage swift and certain responses to probation violations; use court hearings and incentives to motivate offender behavior change; and promote effective collaboration among criminal justice agencies.

Arming the Courts with Research Cover

A “framework that identifies the characteristics and competencies that paroling authorities must have to be effective in implementing evidence-based practices in the context of transition programs and services” is presented (p.8). These sections follow an executive summary: introduction; the impact of history on current reform efforts; the key elements of the parole process—the institutional, reentry, community, and discharge phases; the foundation of system effectiveness—evidence-based practice, organizational development, and collaboration; moving forward; and conclusion. An appendix lists intermediate and process measures for implementation.

Comprehensive Framework for Paroling Authorities in an Era of Evidence-Based Practice Cover

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.

Effective Clinical Practices in Treating Clients in the Criminal Justice System cover

This paper attempts to extend this encouraging work by highlighting several examples of new research that should augment existing EBP by providing refinements in terms of theory, assessment and case supervision that will lead to improved decisions at the individual case level.

The reduction of recidivism by state judiciaries utilizing six principles of evidence-based practice (EBP) is explained. Seven sections follow an executive summary: introduction; current state sentencing policies and their consequences; drug courts -- the state judiciary's successful experiment with EBP; the principles of EBP; local sentencing and corrections policy reforms; state sentencing and corrections policy reforms; and conclusion. "[C]arefully targeted rehabilitation and treatment programs can reduce offender recidivism by conservative estimates of 10-20%" (p. 72).

Evidence-Based Practice to Reduce Recidivism Cover

"The purpose of this paper is to introduce prison administrators and staff to an accumulated body of knowledge regarding correctional practice to enhance their management of their prisons" (p.1). Sections comprising this discussion paper are: introduction -- transition from prison to the community, effective correctional practice, overview of prison research findings for prison classification, and summary; an overview of prison classification and risk assessment – correctional programming, guidelines, staff, and impact; and prison realities -- organizational culture and priorities, staff recruitment and training, role of staff, additional considerations (such as gangs, drugs, threats, and extortion), excellence in prison practice, implications for correctional practice, anticipated goals and outcomes, integration with community corrections, and corporate accountability. Provided as appendixes are "Eight Evidence-Based Principles for Effective Practice: Linking to Prison-Based Corrections" and "Measuring Inmate Competencies."

Evidence-Based Practice Cover

In this video, hear how four counties invested in evidence-based programs to reduce recidivism and increase public safety with the help of the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative.

When departments of corrections target services to people who are incarcerated, these services can help reduce the likelihood that those individuals will engage in criminal activity when released. Too often, however, criminal justice agencies lack the information they need to know whether the programs they offer to inmates are effective. In Iowa, corrections leaders have pursued an innovative approach that allows the best available research to guide their choices.

Through its partnership with the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative, the Iowa Department of Corrections conducted an inventory of its current programs, collected data on their design and capacity, and used rigorous research studies to categorize programs by the likelihood that they will reduce recidivism.

To inform the development of strategies designed to reduce the use of jail in New York City without jeopardizing public safety, the current project documents and assesses decision making at key stages of criminal case processing. 

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.

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