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FAQs

Following are some frequently asked questions associated with CrimeSolutions.gov:

General Questions
Programs and Practices on CrimeSolutions.gov
The Review Process and Becoming a Reviewer
Using Information on CrimeSolutions.gov


  • Can I use CrimeSolutions.gov’s rating system and scoring instruments?

    You are free to use the rating system and scoring instruments described and posted on CrimeSolutions.gov. Information on CrimeSolutions.gov, generated by the Department of Justice, is in the public domain and may be reproduced, published or otherwise used without our permission.

    When reproducing material from CrimeSolutions.gov, including the scoring instrument, please acknowledge the National Institute of Justice and CrimeSolutions.gov. When publishing or presenting work stemming from the use these materials, including programs ratings that you calculate, you must make it clear that such analyses, interpretations, and derivative work are yours and do not represent an actual or official rating from CrimeSolutions.gov.

  • What is the difference between CrimeSolutions.gov and the What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse?

    CrimeSolutions.gov and the What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse projects serve as complementary resources for the field, with CrimeSolutions.gov providing topical information on effective justice programs and practices, and the What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse providing topical information on effective reentry programs. Despite the different topic areas, the projects share many common goals and characteristics. The projects are both funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. What Works in Reentry is a project of the National Reentry Resource Center, a project of the Bureau of Justice Assistance funded through the Second Chance Act.

    CrimeSolutions.gov and the What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse serve a similar function of providing users with online access and analysis of research studies from social science evaluations.

    The primary difference between the two resources is that the What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse was developed to address the evidence base related to reentry and the specific information needs of those working in this field. CrimeSolutions.gov has a more general focus that includes all of criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. In large part because of this difference, these two resources employ slightly different evidence review procedures, apply somewhat different weighting criteria, and use different methods to display information.

  • What is the purpose of CrimeSolutions.gov?

    CrimeSolutions.gov is intended to be a central, reliable resource to help practitioners and policymakers understand what works in justice-related programs and practices. Its 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 standard criteria.

    It is important to note the CrimeSolutions.gov Web site does not constitute an endorsement of particular programs or practices. The programs reported upon favorably are being recognized for their accomplishments in support of the mission of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). Furthermore, it is not intended to replace or supersede informed judgment and/or innovation. CrimeSolutions.gov recognizes that rigorous evaluation evidence is one of several factors to consider in justice programming, policy, and funding decisions. OJP also recognizes the importance of encouraging and supporting innovative approaches that may not yet have extensive evidence of effectiveness.

    Read more about Tips for Using CrimeSolutions.gov.

  • What is the relationship between CrimeSolutions.gov and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)’s Model Programs Guide?

    OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide (MPG), which predates the June 2011 launch of CrimeSolutions.gov, focuses specifically on programs related to the juvenile justice system and covers the entire continuum of youth services from prevention through sanctions to reentry. CrimeSolutions.gov serves a broader scope focusing on what works in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services.

    After the launch of CrimeSolutions.gov, OJJDP began a re-review of MPG programs using the evidence standards and criteria developed for CrimeSolutions.gov (see Program Review and Rating from Start to Finish and Scoring Instruments to learn more about this review process). Beginning in October 2013, the juvenile program information contained on CrimeSolutions.gov and the MPG site will be completely aligned and will share program profiles. The existence of the two separate sites remains, though, because MPG also captures additional resources and tools that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of the juvenile justice field, including literature reviews and implementation guides.

    OJJDP and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the sponsor of CrimeSolutions.gov, are both components of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), U.S. Department of Justice.

  • Who sponsors and operates CrimeSolutions.gov?

    CrimeSolutions.gov is an initiative of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) within the U.S. Department of Justice. It is operated by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). NIJ contracts with Development Services Group, Inc. (DSG) to coordinate the evidence review process and provide content and with Lockheed Martin to provide Web site and technical support.   

    Read more information about the Office of Justice Programs.

  • Will the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) only fund programs that appear on this site?

    No! CrimeSolutions.gov is a resource to assist justice practitioners and policy makers in using evaluation evidence for practical decision making and program implementation. CrimeSolutions.gov is not intended to be an exhaustive list of worthy and unworthy investments. OJP and its components also recognize the importance of supporting innovative approaches and practices that may not yet have extensive evidence of effectiveness. Please refer to the What is the purpose of CrimeSolutions.gov? FAQ for additional information.

    Read more information about the Office of Justice Programs.



  • How do I provide feedback or express concerns about an evidence rating or any other aspect of CrimeSolutions.gov?

    The information and evidence ratings included on CrimeSolutions.gov are not static. As additional programs and practices are identified and new research becomes available, CrimeSolutions.gov content will be updated and supplemented to reflect the most current programmatic and research information available. We also rely on users to provide us with critical feedback about the CrimesSolutions.gov Web site itself. What is useful and what is not? What additional features would you like to see on the site in the future? CrimeSolutions.gov users are welcome to Submit Feedback.

    Specific concerns about evidence ratings or information contained within CrimeSolutions.gov may also be submitted via the Submit Feedback online form. If necessary, changes to the information presented on the site will be made, per the processes outlined in Updating an Evidence Rating and Inquiring About or Appealing an Evidence Rating.

  • How do I request services on CrimeSolutions.gov?

    CrimeSolutions.gov does not provide direct services.  However where available, we list contact information in the profile for each program and practice. If you are unable to locate this information on our site, please contact us with the title of the program or practice you are interested in, and we will do our best to provide the contact information you are seeking.

  • I cannot find a specific program or practice, why not?

    Although reviews are conducted on an ongoing basis, CrimeSolutions.gov is not an exhaustive list of all justice-related programs and practices. If you cannot find the program or practice you are looking for, then you can do the following:

  • If a program or practice is rated as “Effective” on CrimeSolutions.gov, does that mean the Department of Justice (DOJ) or the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is endorsing this program or practice for use by others?

    No. It is important to note the CrimeSolutions.gov Web site does not constitute an endorsement of particular programs or practices. The programs and practices reported upon favorably are being recognized for their accomplishments in support of the mission of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). Furthermore, it is not intended to replace or supersede informed judgment and/or innovation. CrimeSolutions.gov recognizes that rigorous evaluation evidence is one of several factors to consider in justice programming, policy, and funding decisions. OJP also recognizes the importance of encouraging and supporting innovative approaches that may not yet have extensive evidence of effectiveness. Please refer to the What is the purpose of CrimeSolutions.gov? FAQ for additional information.

  • What do the evidence ratings used on CrimeSolutions.gov mean?

    CrimeSolutions.gov classifies programs  and practices in three levels: “Effective,” “Promising” and “No Effects” based on the strength of the evaluation research that indicates a program or practice achieves its goals (i.e., its intended outcomes).

    Evidence Ratings

    Evidence Rating

    Icon*

    Description

    One Study

    More than One Study or Meta-Analysis

    Effective

    Effective icon

    Effective multi-study icon

    Programs or Practices have strong evidence indicating they achieve their intended outcomes.

    Promising

    Promising icon

    Promising multi-study icon

    Programs or Practices have some evidence indicating they achieve their intended outcomes.

    No Effects

    Ineffective icon

    Ineffective multi-study icon

    Programs or Practices have strong evidence indicating that they did not achieve their intended outcomes.

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

    Read more about evidence ratings at About CrimeSolutions.gov.

  • What is the difference between a program and a practice on CrimeSolutions.gov?

    A Program is a specified set of activities combined according to precise guidance in order to achieve a specific purpose. Program profiles on CrimeSolutions.gov tell us whether a specific program was found to achieve its goals when it was carefully evaluated. The results apply to the exact set of activities and procedures used for that one program as it was implemented at the time of evaluation. Thus the program profile tells us that a program is likely to produce the observed result if implemented in exactly the same way.

    A Practice is a general category of programs, strategies, or procedures that share similar characteristics with regard to the matters they address and how they do it. Practice profiles tell us about the average results from multiple evaluations of similar programs, strategies, or procedures. The programs, strategies, or procedures within a practice are similar because they share certain defining characteristics that are described for each practice profile on CrimeSolutions.gov. Thus, practice profiles tell us the most typical results across multiple evaluations.

  • Why do practices sometimes have more than one evidence rating, but programs only have one?
    Sometimes a practice on CrimeSolutions.gov will receive multiple evidence ratings because there is sufficient evidence available to draw conclusions about multiple outcomes addressed by that practice. This is because the ratings for practices are based on a larger amount of evidence using techniques of meta-analysis to examine the findings of numerous studies. With more evidence, it is possible to draw conclusions at a more detailed level of analysis. Programs on CrimeSolutions.gov receive a single overall evidence rating because they are often based on only one evaluation study (although up to three may be included). With a smaller evidence base to inform conclusions, CrimeSolutions.gov does not provide outcome-level ratings for programs.
  • Why does CrimeSolutions.gov include “No Effects” programs and practices?

    "No Effects” programs and practices have strong evidence to indicate they do not achieve their intended outcomes. Programs and practices with "No Effects" evidence ratings either failed to produce any intended change or they produced negative effects. In cases where negative effects were found, CrimeSolutions.gov profiles for programs and practices will idntify and describe observed negative effects. CrimeSolutions.gov includes “No Effects” programs and practices to inform policy makers and practitioners about the current status of available evaluation evidence before planning or implementing similar efforts.

    Read more about: Program Review and Rating from Start to Finish or Tips for using CrimeSolutions.gov.





  • Can I cite the CrimeSolutions.gov review in my materials and, if so, how should it be cited?

    Intervention materials, including Web sites, may state that a program or practice has been reviewed and posted on CrimeSolutions.gov. After a profile has been posted on CrimeSolutions.gov, interested parties may Submit Feedback to request the CrimeSolutions.gov logo graphic. The logo may be used as a link to CrimeSolutions.gov or in the materials related to the program or practice. However, the posting of a program summary on CrimeSolutions.gov does not constitute an endorsement, promotion, or approval of the intervention by CrimeSolutions.gov or OJP. Please refer to the What is the purpose of CrimeSolutions.gov? FAQ for additional information.

    CrimeSolutions.gov recommends the following citation format for program/practice profiles and summaries: Office of Justice Programs. Name of program or practice. Retrieved [month, date, year profile was accessed], from CrimeSolutions.gov, [URL of summary].

  • Can I establish a link to the CrimeSolutions.gov Web site and if so, do you have any CrimeSolutions.gov graphics I can display on my site?

    The CrimeSolutions.gov Web site is sponsored by the U.S. Federal Government and is in the public domain. As such, you can link to the site.

    If you would like to provide your site visitors with access to the program profiles and ratings most recently posted to CrimeSolutions.gov, you are encouraged to add one of the available shareable program record widgets to your Web site. Utilizing CrimeSolutions.gov widgets is a great way of keeping your Web site users informed about what works in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services!

    A "Latest Programs" widget is available which presents information about and access to details for the most recently posted CrimeSolutions.gov program profiles. Additionally, topical widgets are also available which provide information about recently posted programs associated with the following topics: Corrections & Reentry, Courts, Crime & Crime Prevention, Drugs & Substance Abuse, Juveniles, Law Enforcement, Technology & Forensics, and Victims & Victimization. The shareable program record widgets section of our site provides easy to follow instructions on how to incorporate these widgets onto your site. If you have any questions, please contact us for assistance.

  • Can I share information with the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) about how I was able to successfully use program or other content from the CrimeSolutions.gov site in my community?
    Yes! We are very interested in receiving success stories related to the use of CrimeSolutions.gov program profiles, practice profiles, or other content from the site. Using our Submit Feedback form, please provide us with the content you found useful (for example, a specific program profile), how it was used, what you found useful or beneficial about the information, and what the successful outcome was related to your use of the content. The information you provide will be shared with personnel at OJP. Upon review of your submission, OJP personnel may reach out to you directly to gather further information and feedback about your experience.
  • Does CrimeSolutons.gov offer assistance implementing the rated programs?

    No. However, we do provide contact information for the program developer, program director, training/technical assistance provider, and evaluator when available.

    Also, you may contact the Office of Justice Programs’ Diagnostic Center, a technical assistance resource for state, tribal and local policymakers seeking technical assistance to identify, assess and implement evidence-based strategies to combat crime and improve public safety. Contact the Diagnostic Center at (855) 657-0411 or Contact@OJPDiagnosticCenter.org for information about resources to help communities implement evidence based programs.

  • How can I reference the CrimeSolutions.gov review of my program or practice?

    Please use the following text: This program [or practice] received the rating of ['Effective' or 'Promising'] by CrimeSolutions.gov. For more information, visit [URL of CrimeSolutions.gov program or practice profile].