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June 22, 2011

Justice Department creates great new evidence-based criminal justice resource


I am extremely pleased to see (thanks to this item at The Crime Report) that The U.S. Justice Department has created an important  new website, Crime Solutions.gov, to enable all of us to better assess the effectiveness of state and local criminal justice programming.  Here is more background vie The Crime Report:

The site, unveiled yesterday at the National Institute of Justice’s annual crime research conference near Washington, D.C., was billed by federal officials as a “single, credible, online resource to inform practitioners and policymakers about what works in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services.”

Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for Justice Programs, started the project when she returned to government service in 2009.  A team of experts from her office and the Maryland-based private firm Development Services Group (DSG) assembled the database by reviewing academic studies that have reviewed hundreds of anticrime programs under accepted scientific standards.

Each program was classified in one of three categories: effective, promising, or no effects. Officials emphasized that the CrimeSolutions.gov site is a work in progress, with new evaluations added almost daily.  In the last week before the NIJ conference, the number listed jumped from 125 to 145.

The programs are divided into eight categories. As of yesterday, crime and crime prevention had the most evaluations (24) while drugs and substance abuse had the fewest (8).  Other categories are corrections and prisoner reentry, courts, forensics and technology, juvenile justice, law enforcement, and victims and victimization.

Many programs didn’t make the cut, either because they were judged ineffective or there wasn’t enough evidence to make a judgment.  Phelan Wyrick, an assistant to Robinson, said good but unproved programs would not have to make the list to qualify for federal funding.  “We must continue to support innovation,” he told the NIJ conference.

A few clicks over at Crime Solutions.gov already has me very impressed and very overwhelmed.  This FAQ page provides some more important background about this important new resource:

CrimeSolutions.gov is intended to be a central, reliable, and credible resource to help practitioners and policymakers understand what works in justice-related programs and practices.  Its purpose is to assist in practical decision making and program implementation by gathering information on specific justice-related programs and reviewing the existing evaluation research against standard criteria.

It is important to note the CrimeSolutions.gov Web site does not constitute an endorsement of particular programs, nor does it conduct original research. The programs reported upon favorably are being recognized for their accomplishments in support of the mission of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP).  Furthermore, it is not intended to replace or supersede informed judgment and/or innovation.  CrimeSolutions.gov recognizes that rigorous evaluation evidence is one of several factors to consider in justice programming, policy, and funding decisions.  OJP also recognizes the importance of encouraging and supporting innovative approaches that may not yet have extensive evidence of effectiveness.

June 22, 2011 at 10:26 AM | Permalink


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Methinks there's some grade inflation going on here. At first glance, there are several things on the "promising" lists that don't deserve to be there.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Jun 22, 2011 10:34:49 AM

Do tell!

Posted by: Doug B. | Jun 22, 2011 10:49:51 AM

It's at least useful as a starting point for learning about the types of programs out there. Interesting to note that the DARE program was rated "no effect" on helping prevent juvenile delinquency! Also interesting that DOJ contracts with Lockheed Martin (?!?) to run the website...

Posted by: Morgen | Jun 22, 2011 1:17:06 PM

lol how true grits! makes me thing of that old saying garbage IN....garbage OUT!

plus of couse WHO'S making up the list and what is thier agenda!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jun 22, 2011 1:42:20 PM

rodsmith --

I think you're onto something. As a longtime member of DOJ, under administrations of both parties, this sounds to me like goobledygook. There is sometimes a perverse agenda hiding underneath the ooze, and there might be here as well, so I'll be interested to see what specifics actually come from this.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 22, 2011 4:19:33 PM

I will look at the site. Before I do, I will bet 10 cents, all promising and effective solutions involve massive staffing and growth of government. None will involve direct action against the criminal, such as flogging, execution, or enhanced interrogation. I will bet all "proven" "evidenced based" approaches will be expensive to the taxpayer, and will increase lawyer employment, as a Trojan Horse of rent seeking will. I will bet all proven methods have a criminal accommodationist, feminist stench. I will bet public self help and vigilantism will never make it. I bet arming law abiding citizens and mandating they blast any criminal will not make it. I bet religion as redemption for the criminal will not make it. I will bet Sharia as a low crime justice system will not make it because it is not proceduralist enough. There will be no proposal to strengthen the family and to reduce the feminist assault on the patriarchal family, no proposal to reduce bastardy. Should I bother looking at this pile of garbage science, now?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 23, 2011 3:08:22 AM

Here is the most proven correlate of low crime nations. Low lawyer to population ratios. Get rid of 600,000 US lawyers. Make them teach high school history or civics. Almost all crime will disappear, as in low crime Japan/Switzerland (underlawyered) vs high crime Mexico/Venezuela/USA (all overlawyered nations). Will not be listed under "proven."

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 23, 2011 3:14:06 AM

I know people are interested in my every single step in this intellectual pursuit. The lady, Robinson, is on the Board of Trustees of the Vera Institute, a pro-criminal, left wing, big government anti-victim propaganda outlet. One obvious talent? She quadrupled the budget of the government agency she headed, to $multi-billions wasted on garbage science, when the solution to crime took place already, and is self-evident.

By her looks? I am guessing, feminist, family hater, prefers girls, PC enforcer, Commie, zero tolerance for effective measures to stop the criminal. Example? Mandatory sentencing guidelines to stop the all out attack on our society by pro-criminal judges. How did this person qualify when an experienced police officer, social science trained person, or a crime victim advocate really belongs in her position?

Validity test. Mandatory sentencing guidelines were followed by a 40% drop in crime across the board, one of the greatest lawyer achievements of all time. Will see if mentioned under "proven." Going back now.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 23, 2011 3:32:14 AM

No mention of mandatory sentencing guidelines, the greatest, most proven crime reduction method of the 20th Century. And if they were not causal in relationship, the drop in crime,over a decade is one of the greatest coincidences then.

Here is an example from the list, and a blurb from its description. Disturbing. It is a British program installing locked gates in alleys. It is said to return 2 pounds for every pound spent, but does not mention the expense overall, nor per gate. About 1400 gates prevented 875 expected burglaries. Lot of contract work for union members, I guess.

"Program Components

The planning process for installing the gates can easily take up to a year. Permission needs to be secured from all the residents affected by the installation. Also, if the alley is a public right of way, then alley-gating may be prohibited. Gates have to be manufactured to fit each specific location. Gates have a life expectancy of 10 years, depending on the upkeep. Residents are given keys.

In Liverpool, the installation of each gate protected approximately 134 houses. A total of 3,178 gates were installed that protected 106 distinct blocks of adjacent houses, which each contained about 362 residential properties.

Evaluation Outcomes
top border

Study 1
Burglary Rates
Bowers, Johnson, and Hirschfield (2004) found that burglaries were reduced in alley-gated areas of Liverpool, England, up to 37 percent beyond changes observed in comparison areas, a statistically significant reduction. The analysis indicated that an estimated 875 burglary incidents were prevented. The analysis also found that the greater the “intensity” of the intervention (i.e., the number of gates fitted, blocks protected, or houses protected), the larger the reduction in burglary."

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 23, 2011 3:50:29 AM

Nice post

Posted by: seo company | Jun 27, 2011 3:54:03 AM

Thank you to give such important information for us

Posted by: Evidence based policy | Dec 30, 2011 1:20:28 AM

Sentencing a criminal is a big task specially if death penalty is present in your law. Because in others point of view it is inhuman and violating the human rights.

Posted by: What to do in London | Jan 25, 2012 6:50:01 PM

Just do the sentencing as per your law rules and regulation. But always remember to pratice the justice in blind fold.

Posted by: Visit Scotland | Jan 25, 2012 6:51:30 PM

It is better to let the public known what is the latest solution in sentencing the criminal or the offenders.

Posted by: Visit Scotland | Jan 25, 2012 6:52:46 PM

Yeah, i fully agree on this.

Posted by: Visit Britain | Jan 25, 2012 6:53:59 PM

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