Executive Session on Evidence-Based Policy
Executive Session on Evidence-Based Policy
The Executive Session on Evidence-Based Policy and Practice was a partnership of the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA), the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), and the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA). The session, held on January 8 and 9, 2013, brought together over 100 executive staff of state agencies designated by Governors to manage federal criminal justice assistance, directors of the states’ Statistical Analysis Centers (SAC), and federal officials from the Office of Justice Programs and BJA. The agenda built upon training and technical assistance provided by the BJA, NCJA, and JRSA since an initial focus group of State Criminal Justice Agency Administrators (SAA) on evidence-based programs (EBP) in January 2009; a series of regional conferences during 2010; the launching of the NCJP.org website; technical assistance delivery to more than 20 states; and surveys of SAAs and SAC directors concerning EBPs. The agenda also highlighted the BJA’s priority of embedding EBP in all its grant programs and JRSA’s focus on using data to support evidence based programs and data driven decision making.
Resources for State Policy Makers
Sessions and Speaker Presentations
Below are descriptions of sessions and links to slideshows presented at the Executive Session.
Challenges in Promoting Use of Data and Research in Criminal Justice Programs
This session highlighted challenges in using data to assess and define issues, target resources to priorities, and improve performance and outcomes of criminal justice investments, including federal formula and discretionary grants. It also explored strategies to enhance program outcomes through the use of research and evidence-based practices, as well as evaluation, and challenges in the practice and research communities.
Using Data to Inform Evidence-Based Decision Making: The New York Experience
This session featured a presentation by Terry Salo, the New York State SAC Director. Salo discussed initiatives that illustrate the robust collaboration between the SAA and SAC in New York to use data to inform decision making around investments of Justice Assistance Grant funds and building capacity of local practitioners to monitor crime trends, implement effective programming and effectively target resources to critical crime challenges. She presented on how New York monitors its crime reduction programs and employs targeted responses to changes in crime; how data is used to increase the collection and use of forensic evidence; how data and evidence support effective alternatives to incarceration programming; and how re-entry programming is supported. Salo also described how the formal cost benefit strategy being implemented as part of Pew Trust’s Results First project brings these efforts together.
The Role of Statistical Analysis in Supporting Evidence-Based Programs and Policies
The partnership between State Criminal Justice Administering Agencies and State Statistical Analysis Centers is essential to sound strategic planning, policy formulation, and the implementation and replication of EBPs. The Justice Research and Statistiscs Association (JRSA) reported on the results of recent surveys of SAAs and SACs that address their collaboration and other issues related to EBPs. The SAC directors discussed how they provide support to their SAAs and the challenges and opportunities they encounter in providing data and information to support the implementation of EBPs in their respective states.
- View the slideshow presented by Phil Stevenson, Director, Statistical Analysis Center, Arizona Criminal Justice Commission.
- View the slideshow presented by Lee Ann Labecki, Director, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Strategic Policy Development, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
- View the slideshow presented by Stan Orchowsky, Director of Research, Justice Research and Statistics Association.
Putting Evidence-Based Practice at the Center of Strategy Implementation
The Ohio Experience: The Ohio Consortium of Crime Science is the lead criminal justice planning agency and brings together social science researchers into one resource to conduct research, disseminate knowledge, and foster relationships between practitioners, policy makers, and academics.
- View the slideshow presented by Karhlton Moore, Executive Director, Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, and Lisa Shoaf, Director, Statistical Analysis Center, Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services.
The West Virginia Experience: After extensive review and internal planning, The West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services created the Office of Research and Strategic Planning with its SAC renamed the West Virginia Center for Evidence-Based Practice.
Evidence-Based Strategic Planning and Program Implementation with Diminishing Resources
All government agencies are facing cutbacks in funding and are required to provide quantitative data to demonstrate efficiency and effectiveness. During this session, participants identified strategies to invest federal, state and local resources to prevent and respond to crime.
OJP Roundtable on Dissemination of Justice Information Resources
The Gartner group is consulting with OJP to assist in understanding both OJP’s own information needs and the information needs of their customers. This session, facilitated by the Gartner group, gathered the customer perspective on a variety of types of information, including OJP agency publications, web resources, videos, etc.
Cost Benefit Analysis and Evidence-Based Practices
In today’s fiscal climate program funders and administrators are increasingly called upon to justify expenditure of public funds through rigorous analysis of costs and outcomes. Through funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Vera Institute of Justice helps policymakers and practitioners identify cost effective criminal and juvenile justice interventions by providing them with information about the costs and benefits of program and policy options. Tina Chiu, the director of technical assistance for Vera spoke about how the Cost Benefit Analysis Unit can be helpful to state criminal justice policymakers. John Roman, senior fellow in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute discussed the Institute’s work related to evidence-based policies and practices that are applicable to SAAs and SAC directors.
- View the slideshow presented by Tina Chiu, Director, Technical Assistance, Vera Institute of Justice.
- View the slideshow presented by John Roman, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute.
The Challenge of Embedding Evidence-Based Programs in Grant Funded Programs
The Office of Justice Programs and State Criminal Justice Administrators face similar challenges in embedding EBPs and strategies in sub-grantee programs. This session provided the opportunity for OJP staff and session participants to share ideas and brainstorm other approaches to promote and expand the implementation of EPBs and data driven strategic planning among state and local criminal justice agencies.