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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 226730 Find in a Library
Title: Using Research to Promote Public Safety: A Prosecutor's Primer on Evidence-Based Practice
Author(s): Jennifer A. Fahey Esq.
Corporate Author: Crime and Justice Institute
United States of America
Date Published: August 2008
Page Count: 35
Sponsoring Agency: Crime and Justice Institute
Boston, MA 02116
National Institute of Corrections
Washington, DC 20534
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Grant Number: C5C45GJI3
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Crime and Justice Institute
355 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper provides guidance for prosecutors in providing leadership in the implementation of evidence-based practices (EBP) (practices proven effective through evaluation research) throughout criminal justice processing.
Abstract: The principles of EBP have proven to reduce recidivism by changing offender behavior; however, the principles require early diagnosis of an offender before a plea is negotiated by the prosecutor or a sentence imposed. Initial screening tools can help prosecutors make informed decisions about appropriate candidates for early diversion from criminal processing. Proven risk/needs assessment tools can assist prosecutors in deciding how to proceed against a defendant. Options available to prosecutors include diverting a defendant from prosecution, reduction of a charge in a plea negotiation, or recommending a community-based sanction over incarceration. Offender assessment can provide objective, actuarial information that assists prosecutors in making difficult decisions that can have a significant impact on a defendant's life and also on public safety. Evaluation research is providing a growing body of evidence on what does and does not work in managing defendants and offenders. Assessment tools have been subjected to rigorous testing in predicting with a high degree of accuracy those most at risk to reoffend; and the identification of needs that underlie an individual's criminal behavior can be matched to treatment techniques that have proven effective in addressing identified needs and reducing and/or eliminating criminal behavior. Prosecutors have the responsibility to base their discretionary decisionmaking in such evidence-based assessments in order to use the criminal justice system in such a way that criminal behavior is reduced and the public is protected.
Main Term(s): Criminal justice evaluation
Index Term(s): Needs assessment; Prosecution; Prosecutorial discretion; Recidivism prediction; Research uses in policymaking; Treatment offender matching
Note: Downloaded April 29, 2009
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