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Research and Evaluation

Evidence-based & Promising Practices
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Featured Resource

NIJ-Funded Research Examines What Works for Successful Reentry

National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-supported research has shown that there is no one-size-fits-all model for successful reentry. However, NIJ-supported researchers have evaluated reentry programs with effective and ineffective attributes, and these studies have identified some efforts that could actually be counterproductive. This article details how NIJ has led evaluations of two landmark reentry initiatives — the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative and the Second Chance Act.

Highlighted Programs and Practices

Conducting Randomized Controlled Trials in State Prisons

State prisons nationwide house approximately 1.3 million inmates, which is more than half of the total population of incarcerated individuals on any given day in the U.S. Program evaluation is essential to ensuring that state prison systems adopt effective programs and policies and the “gold standard” methodology for evaluating program and policy outcomes is the randomized controlled trial (RCT). This white paper presents an overview of the RCT design as a program evaluation method, describes examples of RCT evaluations, and also discusses considerations and challenges to be addressed when seeking to conduct an RCT evaluation in a state prison.


Guidelines for Conducting Meaningful Research in Local Jails

This fact sheet explores why jail-research is needed and the specific elements that researches should address when proposing studies. These items detail key elements of successful strategies in proposing and conducting jail-based research.


Initiative to Develop Juvenile Reentry Measurement Standards: Final Technical Report

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) sponsored an investigation into the development of a set of reentry measurement standards to lead and promote reforms in juvenile reentry and the data needed to assess and monitor the quality of services delivered. The result is recommended standards and data-collection surveys that provide a blueprint for nationwide improvement in juvenile justice policies and practices, including 33 reentry standards and 161 measures recommended to OJJDP for implementation.


Research Will Shape the Future of Proactive Policing

Proactive policing, a term used to describe a wide range of strategies, tactics, and tools for preventing crime, has been a core component of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ) research agenda and mission for decades. This paper presents proactive policing as a range of strategies and tools for preventing crime, describes four main categories of proactive policing, and highlights important areas of ongoing policing research.