The most succinct definition, taken from perhaps the best and most cogent publication on “Evidence Based Practices (EBP) in the Reentry Field, is as follows, ” Evidence Based Practices: The application of empirical research to professional practice” (p.7). This is an important definition to keep in mind, because it opens the door to new concepts and applications, based on scientific research that will enhance, ground, and even empower your reentry court (or other reentry program).
The monograph from which the definition is taken, written by Mark Carey and Frank Domurad of the Carey Group, and described in an earlier post, deserves a special reference. “Implementing Evidence-Based Practices (Revised, January 2010), published by the Center for Effective Public Policy, under a grant from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, is the best publication I have found on the application of EBP to Prisoner Reentry. As opposed to the many conceptual and intellectual descriptions of what EBP is or may be, this document breaks the concepts down to their basic elements (and can be read in less than an hour). Though part of an eleven “coaching packet” series, put out by the Center for Effective Public Policy, in my opinion this monograph is the most useful and grounded of the series. (The following eight principles are fully described on pages 10-16 of the monograph)
Eight Evidence-Based Principles for Effective Interventions
1. Assess actuarial risk/needs.
2. Enhance intrinsic motivation.
3. Target Interventions.
a. Risk Principle: Prioritize supervision and treatment resources for higher risk offenders.
b. Need Principle: Target interventions to criminogenic needs.
c. Responsivity Principle: Be responsive to temperament, learning style, motivation, culture,
and gender when assigning offenders to programs.
d. Dosage: Structure 40-70% of high-risk offenders’ time for 3-9 months.
e. Treatment: Integrate treatment into sentence/sanction requirements.
4. Skill train with directed practice (use cognitive behavioral treatment methods).
5. Increase positive reinforcement.
6. Engage ongoing support in natural communities.
7. Measure relevant processes/practices.
8. Provide measurement feedback.