As discussed in the Pew-MacArthur First Results Initiative Report, Evidence-Based Policymaking: A Guide for Effective Government:
“Evidence-based policymaking uses the best available research and information on program results to guide decisions at all stages of the policy process and in each branch of government. It identifies what works, highlights gaps where evidence of program effectiveness is lacking, enables policymakers to use evidence in budget and policy decisions, and relies on systems to monitor implementation and measure key outcomes, using the information to continually improve program performance.”
This approach reduces wasteful spending, expands innovative programs, and strengthens accountability.
Outcome, Performance and Mission-Critical Data
An outcome measure is an indicator of an agency’s effectiveness in achieving a stated mission or intended purpose. A performance measure is a quantitative or qualitative characterization of performance. Mission-critical data is supporting data in areas strategically linked to outcome and performance measures.
National data specific to pretrial program outcomes and performance would help individual programs measure their effectiveness in achieving their goals and objectives and in meeting the expectations of their justice systems. Consistent with public-and private-sector best practices, pretrial services program outcome measures, performance measures, and mission-critical data would tie into the individual agency’s mission, local justice system needs, state and local bail laws, and national pretrial release standards.
Adult Redeploy: Supporting Local Capacity by Promoting Alternatives to Incarceration
Over the last 10 years, the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) has seen a steady increase in the number of inmates under its supervision. With a capacity of 33,663 inmates and more than 49,000 inmates currently under its control, the DOC is 70 percent over capacity. The majority of this increase comes from non-violent felonies (mostly associated with drug or property crimes) and the DOC has little room in its $1.3 billion budget for recidivism reduction initiatives. With an understanding that business as usual was unsustainable both in human and fiscal costs; a bipartisan group of legislators passed, and Governor Pat Quinn signed, the Illinois Crime Reduction Act of 2009.
Program evaluation is an invaluable aid in planning, developing, and managing programs. To be effective, however, program evaluation efforts must be placed within the broader context of program management. A flexible capacity for internal self-evaluation is fundamental to the management and ongoing improvement of programs. Click a topic below to learn more about the evaluation process:
Florida’s Redirection Initiative: Using Evidence-Based Practices to Improve Juvenile Outcomes and Save Taxpayers Money
States spend an average of $7.1 million a day keeping youth in residential facilities, according to estimates from a 2009 Justice Policy Institute study. These facilities are often expensive and vary greatly in quality, rehabilitative methodology and service provision. In many states, reliance on residential treatment facilities and other out of home placements have impacted juvenile justice agencies ability to support or enhance other community based alternatives.
Changing How We View Treatment: Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Treatment Interventions
According to a 2010 report from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), 2.3 million inmates in U.S. prisons, or 65 percent, meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV medical criteria for alcohol or other drug abuse and addiction. Another 20 percent, 458,000, are substance involved meaning they were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time of their offense even though they don’t meet the DSM-IV medical criteria for alcohol and other drug abuse.
Public-Private Partnerships and Incentive-Based Contracting
Public-private partnerships (PPPs) within criminal justice systems have historically followed a fee for service model. Examples can be found in behavioral health, victim’s services and program evaluation. In the last decade, however, there has been a substantial expansion in how justice systems and private sector organizations partner to achieve common goals. Through the work of the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change and the Justice Reinvestment initiatives the paradigm has been shifting in how public and private partners allocate resources, structure service contracts and frame organizational goals.
Beyond Legal Defense: The San Francisco Office of the Public Defender’s Reentry Unit
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of criminal defendants need publicly-funded indigent defense. Many of these individuals enter the justice system with a litany of personal, legal and behavioral health issues that have contributed both to their indigent status and their involvement in the justice system. While public defenders are chronically over worked and underfunded; there is also an understanding that without directed efforts aimed at addressing clients underlying issues they will continue to cycle through state and local criminal justice and behavioral health systems. To address this issue, the San Francisco Office of the Public Defender has integrated social work practices into their efforts to address both their clients legal issues and those underlying criminogenic factors that initially brought them into contact with the justice system.
North Carolina's Gang of One Program Helps and Prevents Gang-Involved Youth
There are over 1 million gang members and more than 20,000 active gangs in the United States, according to the FBI’s most recent National Gang Threat Assessment. The assessment estimates that up to 80 percent of crimes in many communities can be linked to gangs and gang members. In addition to drug trafficking, gangs are involved in human trafficking, weapons trafficking, property crimes and other violent crime ranging from assault to murder. While law enforcement works to combat this issue at the local, state and federal levels, the education and juvenile justice communities have pushed for increased emphasis on prevention and intervention. Although enforcement is a major part of addressing a community’s gang problem; without an emphasis on prevention and interventions focused on helping those who are already gang involved, there is a risk of addressing a symptom while ignoring the underlying problem.
Reverted Grant Funds: How Three SAAs are Using Returned Funds to Enhance Local Capacity and Address Unforeseen Challenges
Expiring funds, lapsed funds, de-obligated funds, known by many different names, reverted grant funds are unused or expiring funding returned by a sub-grantee to the awarding agency. While many State Administering Agencies (SAAs) apply these funds to their next fiscal year grant solicitation, some SAAs have formalized policies and procedures to re-release these funds as a mini-grant. These mini-grants often have much reduced award ceilings and award lengths and do not provide an opportunity for continuation funding. In today’s promising practices we look at how three SAAs are leveraging reverted funds to enhance local capacity, expand their organizational reach and help localities address unforeseen challenges.