National Institute of Justice National Institute of Justice. Research. Development. Evaluation. Office of Justice Programs
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On this page find:

See how can be used to help address criminal activity in your community.

Overview of

The National Institute of Justice's uses research to rate the effectiveness of programs and practices in achieving criminal justice related outcomes in order to inform practitioners and policy makers about what works, what doesn't, and what's promising in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. is a central, reliable resource to help you understand what works in justice-related programs and practices. Our purpose is to assist in practical decision-making and program implementation by gathering information on specific justice-related programs and practices and reviewing the existing evaluation and meta-analysis research against standardized criteria.

This website does NOT constitute an endorsement of particular programs or practices. Furthermore, it is not intended to replace or supersede informed judgment and/or innovation. We recognize that rigorous evaluation evidence is one of several factors to consider in justice programming, policy, and funding decisions. We also recognize the importance of encouraging and supporting innovative approaches that may not yet have extensive evidence of effectiveness.

On you will find:

Need help understanding a term you see on Check out our Glossary.

How to Use What You Find


Do you run your own site or blog? You can provide your visitors with access to the program profiles and ratings most recently posted to, add one of the available program widgets to your site. Learn how.

We also have 1-page flier that you can print and share with your colleagues.

Criminal justice practitioners can improve their effectiveness by:

  • Familiarizing yourself with evidence-based programs and practices in your field.
  • Replicating an evidence-based program or practice.
  • Adapting an evidence-based program or practice.

Policymakers can inform funding decisions by:

  • Creating incentives to use evidence-based programs and practices.
  • Creating incentives for ongoing innovation and the generation of evidence-based programs and practices

Trainers can improve their training programs by:

  • Developing training materials and resources for evidence-based programs.

Researchers can become more informed on criminal justice research by:

  • Consulting evidence standards to strengthen program evaluation designs.
  • Focusing on evaluating "Promising" programs using rigorous evaluation designs to build the body of evidence and increase confidence in program effectiveness.

Learn more on "How to Use the Information You Find on"

Review and Rating Process

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

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

One evidence rating is assigned for each program that is reviewed.

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

One evidence rating is assigned for each outcome that is reviewed within a practice.

For more details, see:

Contact Us: Questions, Nominations, and Appeals

The information and ratings included on are not static. As additional evidence becomes available, our 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 website. 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 You can send us your thoughts via Submit Feedback and learn more about the appeals process. and the Model Programs Guide welcome program and practice nominations.

When submitting a program or practice for consideration, it is helpful to include as much descriptive information as possible and to identify relevant social science evaluations, meta-analyses, or other research (including citations).