Tools & Resources

The Framework for Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems (the Framework) is the principle product from Phase I of the EBDM initiative. Products to support the EBDM sites—as well as others who wish to follow in their footsteps—have been developed. The following tools are available to those interested in learning more about—or replicating the work of—the seven EBDM pilot sites.

EBDM Starter Kit

The EBDM Starter Kit provides guidance to jurisdictions that seek to implement justice practices that are based on evidence-based decisions. The Starter Kit is intended to assist local, collaborative criminal justice teams in building their capacity to engage in EBDM by providing a roadmap to, and the critical planning steps necessary for, successful implementation of EBDM.

The Starter Kit’s “Roadmap,” informed by the experiences of the jurisdictions participating in Phase II of the initiative, includes the following steps:

  1. building a genuine, collaborative policy team;
  2. building individual agencies that are collaborative and in a state of readiness for change;
  3. understanding current practice within each agency and across the system;
  4. understanding and having the capacity to implement evidence-based practices;
  5. developing logic models;
  6. establishing performance measures, determining outcomes, and developing a system scorecard;
  7. engaging and gaining the support of the community; and
  8. developing a strategic action plan for implementation.

EBDM Phase II Technical Assistance Evaluation

NIC awarded a cooperative agreement to the Urban Institute, which worked in coordination with the Initiative team to evaluate the effectiveness of the technical assistance delivered to the seven Phase II sites from October 2010 to February 2012. The resulting research report describes the EBDM Phase II technical assistance approach and presents findings and themes from the process evaluation and outcome assessment of the technical assistance delivered. An evaluation brief is also available.

EBDM User’s Guides

A set of User’s Guides are under development for criminal justice stakeholders interested in learning more about how EBDM applies to their work. Each guide will describe

  1. the EBDM research and how it might be applied to a particular discipline;
  2. how a stakeholder can build an EBDM agency in an effort to become part of an effective EBDM justice system;
  3. discipline-specific challenges and potential solutions; and
  4. tools and resources.

While the User’s Guides are intended to complement the Framework and Starter Kit and to be used by a multidisciplinary collaborative team, stakeholders who are not currently involved in a collaborative effort may still find these resources useful. A set of User Guides for defense attorneys, judges, pretrial justice professionals, and prosecutors is forthcoming.

Dosage Probation: Rethinking the Structure of Probation Sentences

This monograph provides a policy and practice framework upon which a new model of supervision—”dosage probation”—can be constructed. It offers a review of evidence-based approaches to reducing recidivism in our communities, the most recent research on dosage, and its applicability to sentencing and community supervision practices. It describes the model’s promise for increasing community safety through recidivism reduction, as well as achieving fiscal savings by reducing periods of supervision. Finally, the monograph offers a summary of the work of Milwaukee County’s criminal justice stakeholders as they design and conduct the nation’s first dosage probation experiment. http://nicic.gov/Library/027940

Other EBDM Initiative Products

  1. a description of the EBDM Initiative and its Phases
  2. an overview of the EBDM Sites’ areas of focus in Phase III
  3. an overview of the EBDM Sites’ activities at the start of Phase III
  4. a curriculum on evidence-based decision making and the EBDM initiative
  5. a fact sheet summarizing the findings of the EBDM public opinion survey

Forthcoming EBDM Materials

A series of publications are under development that will support the replication of EBDM in jurisdictions across the country. This product series will include the final version of the EBDM Framework; a series of case studies documenting the experiences of each of the seven EBDM sites and highlighting their key activities and lessons learned; and a set of discipline-specific bulletins describing the benefits and challenges of participating in an EBDM effort.