Achieving successful evidence-based practice implementation in juvenile justice: The importance of diagnostic and evaluative capacity

Sarah Cusworth Walker, Brian K. Bumbarger, Stephen W. Phillippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Evidence-based programs (EBPs) are an increasingly visible aspect of the treatment landscape in juvenile justice. Research demonstrates that such programs yield positive returns on investment and are replacing more expensive, less effective options. However, programs are unlikely to produce expected benefits when they are not well-matched to community needs, not sustained and do not reach sufficient reach and scale. We argue that achieving these benchmarks for successful implementation will require states and county governments to invest in data-driven decision infrastructure in order to respond in a rigorous and flexible way to shifting political and funding climates. We conceptualize this infrastructure as diagnostic capacity and evaluative capacity: Diagnostic capacity is defined as the process of selecting appropriate programing and evaluative capacity is defined as the ability to monitor and evaluate progress. Policy analyses of Washington State, Pennsylvania and Louisiana's program implementation successes are used to illustrate the benefits of diagnostic and evaluate capacity as a critical element of EBP implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Volume52
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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