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Evidence-based & Promising Practices

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Evidence-Based and Promising Practices to Prevent Crime and Improve Reentry


For efforts to be effective in breaking the cycle of crime and providing individuals with a second chance, they should reflect evidence-based rehabilitation programs. These efforts will lower recidivism rates, ease incarcerated individuals’ reentry into the community, reduce future incarceration costs, and promote positive social and economic outcomes.

This page highlights the importance of using practices and programs with research evidence supporting their effectiveness with adult and juvenile justice-involved populations and features practices and programs across a range of areas focused on crime prevention and improved reentry. The page also includes details on and links to online federal repositories of related evidence-based and promising practices.

Featured Resources

NIJ Crime Solutions

The National Institute of Justice’s CrimeSolutions.gov houses a clearinghouse of programs and practices, organized by a range of topics, that have undergone rigorous evaluations and meta-analyses. The site assesses the strength of the evidence about whether these programs achieve criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services outcomes in order to inform practitioners and policy makers about what works, what does not work, and what is promising.

Evidence-Based Practices in the Criminal Justice System: An Annotated Bibliography

U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections (2017)

“What Is the evidence? Evidence-based policy and practice is focused on reducing offender risk, which in turn reduces new crime and improves public safety. Of the many available approaches to criminal justice supervision, a few core principles stand out as proven risk reduction strategies. Though not all of the principles are supported by the same weight of evidence, each has been proven to influence positive behavior change. 

Federal Probation Journal Evidence-Based Practices

The U.S. Courts’ Federal Probation Journal, published each June, September, and December, presents current thought, research, and practice in corrections, community supervision, and criminal justice. The journal archives the evidence-based practices within each issue.