Oct 20, 2010

Implementing Evidence-Based Practices

This week we are blogging from the first International Community Courts Conference in Dallas, Texas. The Conference brings together over 150 justice leaders from around the world. The Conference is sponsored by the Center for Court Innovation and the U.S Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance, with assistance from the Dallas City Attorney’s Office.

Begun in New York in the early 1990’s, community courts are neighborhood focused court projects that improve public safety by promoting offender accountability through the use of alternative sanctions and improved connections to social services.

There has been a lot of discussion at the Conference about evidence-based interventions. As justice reformers and communities work to address crime locally there is a wealth of research now available to assist in determining the most cost-effective successful approaches.

Today, Elaine Borakove, President of the Justice Management Institute, presented on evidence-based practices in criminal justice. She defined evidence-based interventions as: " a practice or intervention that has been subjected to rigorous scientific research." According to Ms. Borakove it is important to understand the quality of the research that is used to justify a program as evidence-based. The National Institute of Corrections Research Support Gradient highlights the varying degrees of evidence available as well as the eight principles for reducing recidivism. To learn more visit the NIC Implementing Evidence-Based Practices in Community Corrections page.