Second Chance Act in Action: A Case Study of Evidence-Based Approaches and a Researcher-Practitioner Partnership
David L. Myers, PhD, University of New Haven Daniel R. Lee,…Read More
This issue of EBP Quarterly presents a second-year implementation and evaluation report for the Somerset County Day Reporting Center. This report, and the corresponding appendices, present a case study of an SCA funded initiative that is utilizing various evidence-based approaches and evaluating process and behavioral outcomes through a researcher-practitioner partnership. This report illustrates many of the key findings uncovered in larger-scale SCA research, but also provides practical examples of program policies and procedures, strategic and action planning, organizational assessment, use of motivational interviewing, monitoring implementation, and assessing program performance. The importance of prior research findings, collaborative leadership, program fidelity, and data-driven decision-making also is presented in this report.
We hope you find this report and the corresponding documents useful as you consider the use of evidence-based approaches in your own agency.
In some cities, there is a strain on the relationships between the police and the communities they serve. The use of effective communication is one key to improving police-community rapport. These partnerships are the foundation for community policing. The implementation of police-community surveys are productive research tools for creating stronger partnerships. This paper will discuss several types of survey methods to improve police-community partnerships.
Sex offenders and their rates of recidivism are often at the center of media and legislators’ attention, in efforts to maintain public safety from what are perceived by many to be the most heinous of offenders. As a result, sex offender management, civil confinement, community notification, and registration laws have been enacted in many jurisdictions across the globe. These policies stem from “good intentions to enhance public safety, [but] current punitive-oriented policies targeting sex offenders have been shown to yield null effects on sex offender recidivism” (Manchak and Fisher, 2017, p. 2). This, coupled with the myriad of challenges registered sex offenders (RSOs) face because of their public label, amounts to a disservice for offenders and victims. Socia (2014) highlights this by noting that “criminal justice scholars have been skeptical of the utility of residence restrictions for some time because study after study has suggested that these policies are ineffective and may be resulting in collateral consequences for both RSOs and community members” (p. 179). It therefore becomes imperative to examine what is known about sex offender recidivism, risk assessment, and the factors influencing sex offender policies.
This paper discusses the employment and housing barriers faced by RSOs, and how those barriers impact public safety. Current research that examines RSO risk levels, how they are obtained, and how they are managed is reviewed. The position that research indicates current sex offender policy, albeit effective at identifying high-risk individuals, is highly ineffective at aiding successful reintegration is supported. These policy gaps create unsafe communities and force some RSOs to commit non-sexual crimes to survive their new environments.
The United States’ criminal justice system is in the process of rebounding from punitive policies, known as the “get tough movement,” which led to unprecedented growth in prison populations and associated fiscal costs. As of 2015, 2.2 million people were housed in US prisons and jails (The Sentencing Project, 2015). With the average inmate costing approximately $31,000 per year, states are looking to relieve themselves of these excessive costs and are attempting to find cost-effective alternatives to incarceration (Vera Institute of Justice, 2012).
One such approach garnering much attention by researchers and practitioners alike is the utilization of reentry courts for inmates returning to the community after incarceration. Reentry courts began in 1999, through funding by the US Department of Justice and were modeled after drug courts. Their purpose is to reduce recidivism and technical violations by providing oversight and assistance to inmates as they transition into the community (Ndrecka et al., 2017). If implemented correctly, reentry courts can work with clients and mitigate their risk of recidivism during a time when they are at the highest risk of reoffending. This, in turn, could decrease recidivism rates and overall prison populations.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 67.8% of released state prisoners were arrested for a new crime within three years, and 76.7% were arrested within five years (Durose, Cooper, & Snyder, 2014). Reducing recidivism not only protects society at large, but also improves the life quality of individual ex-prisoners. Employment has long been recognized as having a negative correlation with crime (Uggen, 1999; Uggen et al., 2005). However, ex-prisoners face tremendous difficulties in obtaining employment opportunities post-release. Such a disadvantaged situation may be attributable to multiple reasons. First, most of the offenders may simply lack the necessary job skills for specific positions, keeping them from those usually higher paid and more stable jobs. Second, many employers are reluctant to hire these people due to the stigma imposed by their previous criminal records.
This review aims to explore the general effect of employment on recidivism, the gender effect of employment on recidivism, and the role of job characteristics play in deterring crime, as well as to examine how incarceration may affect ex-prisoners in their pursuit of jobs. Policy implications based on the extant research and future research directions also will be discussed.
The Evidence Based Professionals Society today launched the EBP Networking Group, (EBPNG). EBP Networking Groups are local communities of professionals committed to the evidence-based movement who have an interest in evidence-based practices. In a statement, Sobem Nwoko, Founder of EBP Society, and President, Joyfields Institute stated, "In our year end vision survey and events nationwide professionals told us they want more localized programming, a way to address matters affecting them at the local level, and opportunities to engage others in the field where you live and work. This has prompted us to get the EBPNG going."
An EBPNG community may be established by any professionals who desire such a community in their local area. Evidence-Based Professionals Networking Groups;
are communities of local professionals in major metro areas engaged or interested in evidence-based practices
provide forum for these local professionals to network and interact with one another, and
provide forums for local professionals to share ideas and solve problems local to them
Mr. Nwoko added, "...professionals want to meet and network with others locally who, like them are serious about "what works". We encourage current and interested professionals in human, social and justice services field to take advantege of this opportunity to engage one another through the EBPNG. That's what this is about. We have whole package to help groups get started"
EBP Networking Groups are now forming across the country. Professionals interested in forming an EBP Networking Group in their area should send email immediately to [email protected], or call 678-720-2772 to for more details.
About EBP Society
EBP Society is the Society for Evidence based Organizations and Professionals. The society helps build capacity and enhance the careers of organizations and professionals in the human and social services fields by promoting adoption of evidence based and strength-centered approaches everywhere, providing efficient access to evidence based education and resources, and facilitating professional certification in Evidence Based and Strength-Centered expertise.
Its membership are organizations and professionals dedicated to evidencec based and strength-centered practices, programs and policies. Learn more about EBPNG's online
In recent decades, youth mentoring has experienced tremendous growth throughout the United States. Available estimates place the current number of youth mentoring programs at more than 5,000 nationwide, with approximately 3 million children and adolescents receiving services (DuBois, Portillo, Rhodes, Silverthorn, & Valentine, 2011; Miller, Barnes, Miller, & McKinnon, 2013; Stewart & Openshaw, 2014; Tolan, Henry, Schoeny, Lovegrove, & Nichols, 2014). Political and public support have contributed to approximately 1 in 3 adults reporting they have participated in some form of mentoring, and around $100 million per year in federal funds are dedicated to youth mentoring programs and research (Stewart & Openshaw, 2014; Tolan et al., 2014). Overall, youth mentoring is perhaps the most widely implemented and financially supported prevention and intervention strategy for at-risk youth in America.