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Evidence-based practice

Prevention and intervention services (mental health, child welfare, and juvenile justice) provided to children and juveniles are inventoried. These programs are primarily evidence-based and research-based and offered in a culturally competent way. "The definitions developed for evidence-based and research-based are high standards of rigor and represent programs that demonstrate effectiveness at achieving certain outcomes … To assemble the inventory, we operationalize each criterion for both the current law definitions for children as well as the suggested definitions of evidence-based and research-based … [In addition] the WSIPP benefit-cost model is used to determine whether a program meets the benefit-cost criterion by testing the probability that benefits exceed costs. Programs that do not achieve at least a 75% chance of a positive net present value do not meet the benefit-cost test" (p. 1). The Report explains any changes to the inventory since January 2014. The Inventory shows: budget area—child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, general prevention, and substance abuse; program/intervention; manual; current law definitions—evidence-based, research-based, promising practice; suggested definitions—evidence-based, research-based, and promising practice; cost-beneficial; reason practice does not meet suggested evidence-based criteria—benefit-cost, heterogeneity, mixed results, program cost, single evaluation, and weight of evidence; and percent minority.

Updated Inventory of Evidence-Based, Research-Based, and Promising Practices for Prevention and Intervention Services For Children and Juveniles in the Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, and Mental Health Systems Cover

This is a great introduction about how to effectively reduce youthful offender recidivism. Topics discussed include: the meaning of evidence based practice (EBP); five things EBP requires; what research tells us; principles for effective interventions—risk (who), need (what), treatment (how), and fidelity (how well); risk principle—"Risk refers to the risk of reoffending not the seriousness of the offense", target higher risk youth, provide most intensive interventions to higher risk youth, and providing intensive treatment for low risk youth will often increase their recidivism; risk and need factors; the necessity for assessments--Youthful Level of Service/Case Management Inventory, Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI), and the Ohio Youth Assessment System (OYAS); dynamic and static factors; treatment principle—most effective are behavioral models (i.e., structured social learning, family-based intervention, and cognitive intervention); ineffective approaches with youthful offenders; fidelity principle—ensuring the program is implemented as it was designed; a new model of probation officer (PO) and offender interaction--Effective Practices in Correctional Supervision (EPICS); and some lessons learned from research.

What Works and What Doesn’t in Reducing Recidivism with Youthful Offenders Cover

This article explains why one must be cautious with implementing an evidence-based program. You must "understand the basics of evaluation research, including the statistical methods used to generate evidence of program effectiveness. A study that reports statistically significant results is not necessarily evidence of effectiveness, and being evidence-based does not mean a program is guaranteed to work … understanding these basic principles of evaluation research is part of every practitioner’s job" (p. 1). This publication clarifies: how evaluation research is limited; statistics are not always significant; effect size is a better assessment metric than statistical significance—effect size combines substantive importance and statistical significance; and while evaluation research should play a role, it cannot utterly have the last word; and some programs will be effective but not evidence-based because there is not enough money to invest in determining the efficacy of every justice program.

What's the Evidence for Evidence-Based Practice? Cover

This paper describes assessments of female offenders used by correctional agencies and the programs and resources provided by these agencies to meet female offenders' needs. "The two, assessments and programs/services go together. The assessments tell us what is needed and the programs address identified needs" (p. 43). Topics discussed include: gender-responsive risk assessments and the risk factors they identify; women's pathways to crime—child abuse pathway, relational pathway, and the social and human capital pathway; mental health, self-esteem and self-efficacy, and parental stress; risk factors by correctional setting—prisons, pre-release, and probation; translating the gender-specific research into practice; interventions for women offender populations; and the Gender-Informed Practices Assessment (GIPA) 12 domains.

Women's Risk Factors and New Treatments/Interventions for Addressing Them: Evidence-Based Interventions in the United States and Canada Cover

The development and implementation of an analytical tool that helps states determine which evidence-based practices are most cost effective in preventing crime and lowering correctional costs. “The project’s overall goal is to use the best information available to identify sentencing and corrections policies that can help states protect public safety and control taxpayer costs. To accomplish this goal, we have constructed a benefit-cost “investment” model that estimates crime and fiscal outcomes of different combinations of public policies” (p. 1). Sections of this report that follow a summary include: background; project element 1—development of the sentencing tool; project element 2—application of the tool to Washington’s policy process; and project element 3—software development and next steps.

WSIPP's Benefit-Cost Tool for States: Examining Policy Options in Sentencing and Corrections Cover

“Beginning in the late 1990’s, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Information Center began scanning social, economic and corrections issues to inform the development of programs and services offered by NIC. This report, now in its 6th edition, has continued to evolve into a popular tool that is also used by corrections practitioners to inform their work in jails, prisons and community corrections. Since there are many issues beyond what is addressed in this environmental scan that potentially will influence corrections, this report is intended to give a broad overview of selected current and anticipated trends and not intended to be comprehensive” (p. 3). Sections of this report are: introduction; international developments; demographic and social trends; the workforce; technology; public opinion; the economy and government spending; criminal justice trends; corrections populations and trends; and corrections program initiative and reentry.

Environmental Scan 2011 cover


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