on July 24, 2016 by Linda Brady, POPAI President
Dear POPAI Members:
The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) has been assisting justice system professionals to implement evidence-based programs for many years. In 2008, NIC developed the Evidence-Based Decision Making framework to describe a process and method to comprehensively implement justice system reform. Thereafter, NIC identified and supported seven communities throughout the U.S. to pilot the framework. Indiana’s Grant County was one of the first pilot communities for this initiative.
Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) is a strategic and deliberate method of applying empirical knowledge and research-supported principles to justice system decisions made at the case, agency, and system level. The EBDM framework posits that public safety outcomes will be improved when justice system stakeholders engage in truly collaborative partnerships, use research to guide their work, and work together to achieve safer communities, more efficient use of tax dollars, and fewer victims.
Based on the success of the original pilot communities, in 2015 NIC expanded its work to three states, including Indiana. The NIC provided technical assistance to Indiana’s state-level policy-making team and to six (6) pilot counties in the state: Hamilton, Jefferson, Hendricks, Bartholomew, Porter, and Tipton.
Probation is a key player in Indiana’s criminal justice system and a crucial part of the Indiana EBDM initiative. For the past year, POPAI has been an active participant in Indiana’s state EBDM policy team. Indiana probation departments have been active participants in the EBDM pilot counties. The Grant County Probation Department has been a leader in implementing evidence based correctional practices and leading by example with the EBDM process. As POPAI President, I have been fortunate to have served on the Indiana EBDM Policy Team this past year as the probation representative.
Indiana’s participation in EBDM – Phase V began in March 2015 and concluded in July 2016. The Indiana Policy team is applying for Phase VI technical assistance from the NIC to implement state and local change targets and to expand EBDM among Indiana counties. If awarded, Indiana will receive technical assistance from the NIC. The application process is competitive. POPAI was asked to submit a letter of support for Indiana’s EBDM Phase VI application.
POPAI’s inclusion in Indiana’s EBDM project will further the “justice reinvestment” activities that have been mandated by the Indiana General Assembly. POPAI will serve as a liaison between Indiana probation officers and the state EBDM initiative, communicating with local departments to assist them in developing and implementing their own harm reduction goals.
Here are links to important EBDM documents.
Please connect me if you have questions, suggestions, or feedback regarding Indiana’s EBDM initiative.