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About CrimeSolutions.gov

CrimeSolutions.gov. Reliable Research. Real Results.See how CrimeSolutions.gov can be used to help address criminal activity in your community.

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The Office of Justice Programs’ CrimeSolutions.gov uses rigorous research to inform practitioners and policy makers about what works in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services.

On CrimeSolutions.gov you will find:

What is the difference between programs and practices on CrimeSolutions.gov?

  Programs Practices New
Description A specific set of activities carried out according to guidelines to achieve a defined purpose. A general category of programs, strategies, or procedures that share similar characteristics with regard to the issues they address and how they address them.
Question Answered How effective is this program according to the most rigorous evaluation(s) available? How effective is this general practice on average across many evaluations?
Example Did the ABC Mentoring Program in Anytown, USA achieve its goals? Does mentoring usually achieve its goals?
Evidence Ratings Single evidence rating per program Single evidence rating for each outcome affected by the practice
Evidence Base Up to 3 rigorous evaluations of a specific program Meta-analyses that assess the average effectiveness of the practice on various outcomes across a large number of studies
Research Methods Experimental or quasi-experimental designs Meta-analyses of experimental or quasi-experimental designs

Read more about programs and practices on CrimeSolutions.gov

How does CrimeSolutions.gov decide which programs and practices to rate?
How does CrimeSolutions.gov conduct reviews and ratings?
What are the evidence ratings on CrimeSolutions.gov?
Who are CrimeSolutions.gov’s Reviewers?
How should CrimeSolutions.gov be used?
How do I provide feedback or express concerns about an evidence rating on CrimeSolutions.gov?

How does CrimeSolutions.gov decide which programs and practices to rate?

Potential justice-related programs and practices are identified through literature searches of relevant databases, journals, and publications. Programs and practices are also identified through nominations from experts, practitioners, and others. CrimeSolutions.gov continually expands its registry of reviewed and rated programs and practices.

Before evidence is reviewed and rated, the program or practice is screened to determine whether it meets CrimeSolutions.gov criteria for inclusion on the Web site. This screening includes a thorough review of the program or practice (does it fall within the scope of CrimeSolutions.gov?) and the strength of the available research about the program or practice (can we determine with confidence whether it works?). CrimeSolutions.gov Lead Researchers make the final determination as to whether the evidence for a program or practice goes forward to review.

Read more about: Program Review and Rating from Start to Finish or Practice Review and Rating from Start to Finish or Nominate a Program or Practice for CrimeSolutions.gov.

How does CrimeSolutions.gov conduct reviews and ratings?

When a program or practice meets the CrimeSolutions.gov screening criteria, Study Reviewers assess the quality, strength, and extent of the evidence that indicates the program or practice achieves its goals. The specific review procedures and scoring instruments differ for programs and practices.

For programs, the reviewers use a Program Scoring Instrument for each study reviewed and assign scores across multiple criteria within four dimensions:

  • Program’s Conceptual Framework
  • Study Design Quality
  • Study Outcomes
  • Program Fidelity

Read more about: Program Review and Rating from Start to Finish or see the Program Scoring Instrument.

For practices, the reviewers use a Practice Scoring Instrument for each meta-analysis and assign scores across multiple criteria within two dimensions:

  • Overall Quality
  • Internal Validity

Meta-analyses can assess a variety of outcomes within a practice and scores are calculated for each outcome within each practice.

Read more about: Practice Review and Rating from Start to Finish or see the Practice Scoring Instrument.

What are the evidence ratings on CrimeSolutions.gov?

Study Reviewers assess the evidence for programs and practices and assign ratings of either Effective, Promising, or No Effects. One evidence rating is assigned for each program that is reviewed. However, because practices are more general categories of activity, the evidence review may address multiple outcomes, and evidence ratings may be assigned to multiple outcomes for a given practice. For example, a hypothetical practice may be rated Effective for reducing recidivism, but No Effects for increasing employment. Summary tables and practice profiles on CrimeSolutions.gov prominently display instances where practices have multiple outcome evidence ratings.

Evidence Ratings
Evidence Rating Icon* Description
One Study or Meta-Analysis More than One Study or Meta-Analysis
Effective effective icon effective multi-study icon Programs or practices have strong evidence to indicate they achieve their intended outcomes.
Promising promising icon promising multi-study icon Programs or practices have some evidence to indicate they achieve their intended outcomes.
No Effects no effects icon no effects multi-study icon Programs or practices have strong evidence indicating that they had no effects or had harmful effects.

* A single study icon is used to identify programs or practices that have been evaluated with only one study or meta-analysis. A multiple studies icon is used to represent a greater extent of evidence supporting the evidence rating. The icon depicts programs or practices that have more than one study or meta-analysis in the evidence base demonstrating effects in a consistent direction.

Read more about: Program Review and Rating from Start to Finish or Practice Review and Rating from Start to Finish.

Who are CrimeSolutions.gov’s Reviewers?

CrimeSolutions.gov reviewers are subject-matter and research methodology experts who assess the research evidence to determine whether a program or practice achieves its goals. All CrimeSolutions.gov reviewers must complete training and receive certification prior to becoming a Study Reviewer. Each justice topic area has a designated Lead Researcher who serves a leadership role in selecting the studies or meta-analyses that comprise a program’s evidence base and coordinating the review process. The Lead Researcher assigns two Study Reviewers to score the evidence base for each program or practice under consideration by CrimeSolutions.gov. The Study Reviewers use standard Scoring Instruments to independently assess and score the evidence for a program or practice. Any significant scoring discrepancies between reviewers are resolved and consensus is achieved prior to a program or practice being assigned a final evidence rating.

For a list of CrimeSolutions.gov Researchers and Reviewers see CrimeSolutions.gov Researchers and Reviewers.

Read more about: Program Review and Rating from Start to Finish or Practice Review and Rating from Start to Finish.

How should CrimeSolutions.gov be used?

CrimeSolutions.gov is intended to be a reliable and accessible resource to help practitioners and policy makers understand what works in justice-related programs and practices. It is intended to assist in decision making and inform the implementation of evidence-based programs or practices. CrimeSolutions.gov recognizes that rigorous evaluation evidence is one of several factors to consider in justice programming and policy decisions. CrimeSolutions.gov is not an exhaustive list of all justice-related programs or practices, and inclusion on this site does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice (read more).

Read more about: Tips for Using CrimeSolutions.gov.

How do I provide feedback or express concerns about an evidence rating on CrimeSolutions.gov?

The information and ratings included on CrimeSolutions.gov are not static. As additional evidence becomes available, CrimeSolutions.gov content will be updated and supplemented to reflect the most current information and research. We also rely on users to provide us with feedback about the CrimeSolutions.gov Web site. What is useful and what is not? What additional features would you like to see on the site in the future? Do you have concerns about evidence ratings or information contained on CrimeSolutions.gov? You can send us your thoughts via Submit Feedback.

Read more about: Updating an Evidence Rating or Inquiring About or Appealing an Evidence Rating.

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