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Resources on Evidence-based Programs, Practices, and Decision Making

Following are reference and other materials relevant to individuals interested in implementing programs or conducting program evaluations:

Being Smart on Crime With Evidence-Based Policing
In this National Institute of Justice Journal article from March 2012, Chief Jim Bueermann (Ret.) reflects on how law enforcement agencies can do a better job of using science to reduce crime by adopting evidence-based policing as a standard practice and partnering with universities or colleges. Evidence-based policing leverages the country’s investment in police and criminal justice research to help develop, implement and evaluate proactive crime-fighting strategies, which may prove more effective and less expensive than the traditional response-driven models.

Implementing Proven Programs for Juvenile Offenders: Assessing State Progress
This report from the Association for the Advancement of Evidence-Based Practice compares states on the basis of the amount of the best evidence-based programming they are providing, and the efforts they are making to promote evidence-based practices and policies (EBPs). One of the key goals of this study is to help state policymakers and practitioners identify strategies and techniques that can help expand the quality and availability of EBPs in their jurisdictions.

Is This a Good Quality Outcome Evaluation Report? A Guide for Practitioners
This guide was produced by the Justice Research and Statistics Association and the Bureau of Justice Assistance to provide practitioners with a sound basis for distinguishing the difference between good and poor quality evaluation reports.

Questions To Ask as You Explore the Possible Use of an Intervention
This resource from the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices contains specific questions that should be asked when looking into program implementation.

Understanding Evidence
This free, online resource developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers practitioners and others working to prevent violence important knowledge and resources for using evidence in their decision-making processes. This site is designed primarily for violence prevention practitioners, but anyone working to prevent violence in their communities will find the information useful.

Understanding Evidence Part 1: Best Available Research Evidence. A Guide to the Continuum of Evidence of Effectiveness
In this guidance document, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aims to explain the purpose and meaning of the Continuum of Evidence of Effectiveness, a tool that was developed to facilitate a common understanding of what the Best Available Research Evidence means in the field of violence prevention. This Continuum also serves to provide common language for researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers in discussing evidence-based decision making.

Other Evidence-based Program Libraries

There are a number of other government and private organizations that maintain databases, similar to, that identify what works in other disciplines. The programs contained in these other databases may or may not overlap with those found on Read More.

Research at the Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has placed a priority on ensuring the integrity of, and respect for, science within OJP - including a focus on evidence-based, "smart on crime" approaches. Read More.

Evidence Integration

OJP’s Evidence Integration Initiative (E2I) is focused on improving the synthesis and translation of social science research findings to inform practice and policy in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and victim services. accomplishes this primarily by assessing the quality and findings of program evaluation evidence to try to answer the question "does this program work?"

To examine this broad base of research and statistical findings and seek answers to a range of practical policy questions, OJP partnered with the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) to create two internal Evidence Integration Teams, which focused on two topic areas: gangs and children exposed to violence. These topical areas were selected because they present significant challenges for the field and are priorities for OJP. Included in the resources below are highlights of the findings from these Evidence Integration Teams.

Children Exposed to Violence (CEV)