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Issues in Defining and Applying Evidence-Based Practices Criteria for Treatment of Criminal-Justice Involved Clients

If you are looking for an introduction to the use of evidence-based practice (EBP) in corrections based drug treatment, then this is for you. EBP "applies the principles and techniques of evidence-based decision making to interventions intended to improve, or ameliorate, the social or clinical problems of affected individuals, including offenders with drug abuse problems. This article provides a general overview of EBP, particularly as it applies to treatment and other interventions for offenders with problems involving drugs (including alcohol). The discussion includes a definition of EBP, notes the implications of using EBPs to make policy and clinical decisions, lists the various efforts by government and academic organizations to identify practices that can be considered evidence based, describes the criteria used by such organizations to evaluate programs as being evidence based, raises some cautions about the use of EBPs, and ends with some challenges in disseminating and implementing EBPs" (p. 10). Following an abstract, this article covers: a definition and implications; evidence-based practice initiatives; meta-analyses of treatment programs for offenders; limitations of randomized designs for evidence-based practices; challenges in disseminating and implementing EBPs; and EPBs having valid yet tentative knowledge about "what works".