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Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA) (Washington DC)

“Community corrections researchers and practitioners face many barriers when trying to implement evidence-based programs and practices in the field. This webinar offers some practical strategies for improving the implementation process and achieving better program results. James Bonta describes the efforts of the research team at Public Safety Canada to develop the Strategic Training Initiative in Community Supervision (STICS) model and the large-scale, systematic steps taken to help ensure successful implementation of the program. STICS focuses on the role of probation officers, and works to improve the effectiveness of their day-to-day interactions with offenders. Kimberly Sperber discusses risk-based dosage, or how much treatment is required to impact recidivism of offenders. Knowing that high-risk offenders should receive more services and supervision is not the same as knowing how much more services and supervision are needed to yield the maximum reductions in recidivism. Practitioners too often have little guidance on "how much is enough," which can hinder adherence to the principles of effective correctional intervention. “

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“This guide is designed to introduce and explain the key concepts in outcome evaluation research in order to help practitioners distinguish between good and poor quality evaluation reports” (p. 3). Topics covered include: what evaluation is; the role of evaluation design; how well the evaluation is carried out; sample size appropriateness; definitions of evaluation terms; cost-benefit analysis; meta-analyses and systematic reviews; assessing the report’s quality; and “Is This a Good Quality Evaluation Report?” checklist.

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"The SAC Publication Digest is a comprehensive collection of abstracts of state Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) reports, including reports produced for the SACs by outside authors or organizations … The Digest briefly describes the research, data collection, evaluation, and analysis projects and programs of each SAC, and covers a wide array of justice topics and analysis approaches not available from any other source. The Digest is a resource for anyone concerned with understanding the current major justice issues, as well as the administration of justice, in the states. The SACs are units or agencies at the state government level that collect and analyze information from all components of the justice system to contribute to the development of sound public policies and assess their impact." The Digest is divided into two parts: one part containing abstracts organized alphabetically by state; and the other part having the items arranged by topic.

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This publication "contains invited articles on community corrections, with special emphasis on successful implementation strategies. A common thread that runs through these articles relates to what is needed to better ensure fidelity to evidence-based practices in community supervision and treatment. The research and implementation strategies shared by the authors should provide greater guidance to agency and program administrators working to assimilate evidence-based practices into their organizations" (p. 1). Articles include: "Current Practice and Challenges in Evidence-Based Community Corrections" by Stephen M. Haas; "STICS: From Pilot Project to Wide-Scale Implementation" - review; "Motivational Interviewing Proficiency in Corrections" – review; "Ohio Youth Assessment System – Creation, Validation, and Implementation" – review; "Actuarial Risk/Need Assessment and Its Effect on Supervision Revocation" – review; and "Establishing the Proper Risk-Dosage Relationship" – review. Each review explains: why the study was done; what the program was and what the researchers did; what the researchers found; and what the implications are of the study for policy making. Also included are two review essays. "Review Essay: Implementing EBP in Community Corrections" discusses what works, EBP models, planned change, and dosage. "Review Essay: Moving Implementation of EBP Forward" looks at three challenges to implementing EBPs in community corrections programming.

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These toolkits comprise "a series on promoting the use of evidence-based practices in State Administering Agencies (SAAs) [in understanding and implementing evidence-based practices (EBPs) in their states]. These toolkits include a briefing paper, an executive summary, and a slideshow. The slideshows can be tailored by SAAs to highlight their own efforts in promoting evidence-based practices in their state. Additional toolkits are currently being developed based on feedback from SAA directors". Toolkit 1—An Introduction to Evidence-Based Practices: a brief history of the evidence-based "movement"; where the evidence comes from; resources for identifying EBPs; implementing EBPs; what to do if there is no evidence; and summary. "With diminishing resources available for funding criminal justice issues, understanding how to identify and implement EBPs will be critical for decisionmakers in all areas of the justice system" (p. 15). Toolkit 2—Implementing Evidence-Based Practices: introduction; how evidence-based programs are identified; the defining characteristics of a program; implementation fidelity; achieving implementation fidelity; implementation science; what can be done to support high-quality implementation; measuring implementation fidelity; moderators of implementation fidelity; core program components and program adaptation; and summary. "Given the importance of implementation fidelity, adaptation is likely to be advantageous only when it is guided by scientific evidence, pursued with caution, and monitored to prevent potentially harmful effects" (p. 16).

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