Evidence-Based Practices for Community Corrections
How EBP Can Reduce Recidivism and Improve Outcomes in Community Corrections
With growing caseloads and shrinking budgets, corrections departments and programs across the country are being challenged to find new ways to do more with their limited resources. Prisons and jails are becoming increasingly reliant on community corrections to alleviate overcrowding and provide adequate supervision and treatment services to help offenders reintegrate while keeping their communities safe. With the need for innovative and cost-effective methods to reduce criminal recidivism, where should community corrections turn?
Years of behavioral research has uncovered the components that make up the most effective community corrections programs, and evidence-based practices (EBP) embody the core of this research. EBP combines empirical research with client behavioral data to guide corrections officers in the decision-making process and have the greatest positive impact on offender outcomes. Governed by eight guiding principles and backed by science, EBP provides the baseline for effective intervention for offender populations.
For example, when correctional rehabilitation programs appropriately match services and treatment to the risk and need profiles of clients, they can be 15-20% more effective at reducing criminal recidivism. This includes applying swift, certain, and fair rewards for accomplishments, as well as sanctions for program violations.
However, many corrections departments lack the resources, capacity, and expertise to adequately integrate EBP into their daily business practices. This “gap in EBP” creates barriers to implementation, often resulting in corrections departments to continue “business as usual” with strained budgets and ineffective programs.
Fortunately, new technology, detailed implementation guides, and extensive training for officers are helping pave the way for corrections departments to successfully integrate EBP into their daily decision making and offender supervision and treatment programs.
EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICES DECISION MAKING
By applying behavioral science and analytics to agency policies, SCRAM Nexus integrates evidence-based practices into day-to-day decision-making, guiding community corrections officers through daily workflows that help improve client outcomes.