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Janeen Buck Willison

"This report describes the EBDM [Evidence-Based Decision-Making] Phase II technical assistance approach and presents findings and themes from the process evaluation and outcome assessment (conducted from October 2010 to February 2012) of the technical assistance delivered to the seven sites selected under Phase II of the EBDM initiative … The Phase II technical assistance approach sought to facilitate both the Framework’s goals of recidivism reduction and harm reduction. This involved the adoption of well-evaluated principles and practices, while also allowing for some level of adaptation of these principles and practices to other parts of the criminal justice system … Evaluation results offer ample evidence that Phase II training and technical assistance enhanced site capacity in critical areas (i.e., strengthened collaboration, increased EBDM and system knowledge, increased support for EBDM principles and practices, identified change targets, and facilitated strategic planning) essential for successful implementation. Furthermore, stakeholders generally rated the TA positively, giving it high marks on relevance, quality, responsiveness, and utility" (p. VI-VII). This report is divided into five sections: introduction; evaluation approach—design and methods; EBDM Phase II technical assistance approach; examining the broader impact of Phase II--key findings from the evaluation: findings from the process analysis, findings from the cross-wave, cross-site stakeholder survey, agency collaboration, stakeholder engagement and coordination among key leaders, perceived benefits of technical assistance, implementation readiness, level of involvement in EBDM, stakeholder sphere, and summary; and conclusions and implications. The related NIC Evaluation Brief "Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems Initiative" is available at https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.nicic.gov/Library/029768.pdf.

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"This study evaluates two of Allegheny County (PA)’s programs to improve the successful reintegration of jail inmates following their return to the community. Both programs were designed to reduce re-offending through the use of risk/needs assessment, coordinated reentry planning, and the use of evidence-based programs and practices." Six sections follow an executive summary: introduction; study design; fidelity assessment findings and implications; impact evaluation analysis and findings; summary of findings; and recommendations and action steps. "There is strong and credible evidence that Allegheny County’s Second Chance Act reentry programs reduce recidivism as measured by rearrest. Findings of program impact are coupled with ample evidence of strong program implementation fidelity and adherence to principles of effective intervention for criminal justice populations" (p. ix).

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This brief covers results from the report "Evaluation of Phase II Technical Assistance for Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems" by Janeen Buck Willison, Pamela Lachman, Dwight Pope, and Ashleigh Holand (issued June 2012) available at https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.nicic.gov/Library/029768.pdf. It "describes the EBDM Phase II technical assistance approach and presents findings and themes from the process evaluation and outcome assessment of the technical assistance delivered to the seven sites selected under Phase II of the EBDM initiative. In doing so, we [the authors] explore the effect of Phase II technical assistance on the sites’ readiness for implementation and examine the broader impacts of Phase II participation for these communities. The report concludes with a discussion of implications and recommendations for future technical assistance efforts, informed by the lessons learned as part of this assessment … Evaluation results offer ample evidence that Phase II training and technical assistance enhanced site capacity in critical areas (i.e., strengthened collaboration, increased EBDM and system knowledge, increased support for EBDM principles and practices, identified change targets, and facilitated strategic planning) essential for successful implementation. Furthermore, stakeholders generally rated the TA positively, giving it high marks on relevance, quality, responsiveness, and utility" (p. 2, 3).

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“In the past decade, attention to the challenges associated with people exiting state and federal prisons has increased tremendously. This increased attention is for good reason, as the impact of prisoner reentry on the well-being of individuals, families, and communities is well documented. Yet for every person released from prison annually, approximately 12 people exit local jails … NIC [National Institute of Corrections] launched the Transition from Jail to Community (TJC) initiative in 2007 to address the specific reentry challenges associated with transition from jail … More comprehensive than a discrete program, the TJC model is directed at long-term systems change and emphasizes a collaborative, community-based orientation … This report describes the TJC initiative, discusses the implementation experiences in all six learning sites, and presents findings from the implementation and systems change evaluation” (p. 9). Sections of this report include: the TJC model and its development; technical assistance and evaluation approach; model implementation in the learning sites; implementation and systems change approaches and evaluation findings; and conclusion. Appendixes provide: TJC Implementation Roadmap; case flow graphics; Triage Matrix Tool; Core Performance Measures Tool; baseline measures; intervention inventory; and TJC Scale Key.

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The TJC Initiative seeks to improve public safety and to enhance the success of individuals returning to the community from local jails through implementation of an innovative, evidence-informed transition models in four key areas: collaborative structures, evidence-based targeted interventions, data and self-evaluation, and sustainability mechanisms and capacity-building. During Phase 1 (2008-2011), the national TJC team tested the TJC model in six learning communities: Davidson County, TN; Denver, CO; Douglas County, KS; Kent County, MI; La Crosse County, WI; and Orange County, CA. During Phase 2 (2012-2015), six additional learning sites joined the TJC Initiative. Respondents of the program credit TJC TA with helping their communities build highly functional collaborations between their jails, other criminal justice agencies and reentry stakeholders; establish or expand evidence-based practices and interventions; enhance foundational capacity to monitor and measure system performance; and reduce recidivism.

“Consistent with effective correctional practice, jails and their community partners should identify risk levels and criminogenic needs of returning [offender] populations and should focus their resources on individuals with the highest levels of both … This brief presents the two-stage screening and assessment process to determine risk and needs levels that is a core element of the Transition from Jail to Community (TJC) model” (p. 1). Sections of this publication include: the TJC initiative; risk and need in a triage approach; risk screening—selecting a screening instrument, administering risk screening, norming and validating the screening instrument, and using screening data; TJC screening principles; proxy triage risk screener; key implementation lessons learned—screening to determine risk of offending and assessment of criminogenic need; TJC assessment principles; assessment of criminogenic need--selecting an assessment instrument, administering assessment, and using assessment information; key implementation lessons learned—assessment of criminogenic risk/need; and lessons learned from the TJC site implementation.

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"TJC [Transition from Jail to Community] represents an integrated approach spanning organizational boundaries to deliver needed information, services, and case management to people released from jail. Boundary-spanning collaborative partnerships are necessary because transition from jail to the community is neither the sole responsibility of the jail nor of the community. Accordingly, effective transition strategies rely on collaboration among jail- and community-based partners and joint ownership of the problems associated with jail transition and their solutions. The TJC model includes the components necessary to carry out systems change to facilitate successful transition from jail, and it is intended be sufficiently adaptable that it can be implemented in any of the 2,860 jail jurisdictions in the United States … despite how greatly they vary in terms of size, resources, and priorities … One of NIC’s goals for Phase 2 of the TJC Initiative was to enhance the TJC model and approach to pay greater attention to pretrial practices … Findings from the Phase 2 process and systems change evaluation are provided in individual site-specific case study reports that focus on how TJC implementation unfolded in the specific context of each participating jurisdiction … While the TJC Model provides a common framework for TJC work, site priorities, preexisting collaborative relationships, capacity to carry out reentry activities (and where that capacity resides), and site starting points condition how TJC proceeds. However, common themes emerged across the Phase 2 sites, as well as insight into why greater progress was realized in some places more than others. The purpose of this brief is to summarize these themes and relevant information about the sites’ implementation experiences—what worked well, what was notable, and what was challenging (p. 3, 5-6, Phase 2 Summary).

Seven reports comprise the Transition from Jail to Community (TJC) Initiative Phase 2 Site Reports series:

Phase 2 Summary Implementation Findings by Jesse Jannetta, Janeen Buck Willison, and Emma Kurs has these sections: glossary; site implementation themes—leadership and collaboration; targeted intervention strategies; self-evaluation and sustainability; and lessons for changing systems.

Implementation Success and Challenges in Ada County, Idaho by Shebani Rao, Kevin Warwick, Gary Christensen, and Colleen Owens;
Implementation Success and Challenges in Franklin County, Massachusetts by Willison, Warwick, and Rao; Implementation Success and Challenges in Fresno County, California by Jannetta, Rao, Owens, and Christensen; Implementation Success and Challenges in Hennepin County, Minnesota by Willison, Warwick, and Kurs; Implementation Success and Challenges in Howard County, Maryland by Jannetta, Kurs, and Owens; and Implementation Success and Challenges in Jacksonville, Florida by Willison, Warwick, Kurs, and Christensen.

Each of the above six Site Reports contain these sections ; glossary; introduction; TJC structure, leadership, and collaboration; targeted intervention strategies; self-evaluation and sustainability; and conclusion.

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