The deliverables from this cooperative agreement will contribute to the mission of NIC by promoting the ongoing development and advancement of correctional practices by developing a standardized approach to performance and outcome measurement for the community corrections (local and state probation)
Accurate and detailed documentation of case information, along with a formal and valid mechanism for measuring outcomes, is the foundation of evidence-based practice.
Evidence-based practice implies that 1) one outcome is desired over others; 2) it is measurable; and 3) it is defined according to practical realities (i.e.
public safety) rather than immeasurable moral or value-oriented standards.
As suggested in The Pew Center Public Safety Performance Project- “Policy Framework to Strengthen Community Corrections”, community corrections agencies should implement a systemic performance measurement model, which includes measures of outcomes in key performance areas to provide regular objective and quantitative feedback on how well agencies are achieving their goals.
We need to measure strategies and activities that reduce offender risk factors that diminish the likelihood of re-offending, support and develop protective risk factors and those activities that hold offenders accountable.
A question we should be asking regularly, “What does the data say?” and making business decisions based on data elements and facts.
Early performance measurement efforts include community corrections agencies adopting the Compstat Model developed by the New York City Police Department.
Compstat is a continuous evaluation of agency performance involving regular data audits where managers across the organization share performance data for their division, receive feedback on performance, and deploy new strategies or tactics to deal effectively with problems.
Although Compstat is a management approach it is worth mentioning here as the intent was to come to agreement on what to measure.
A limited number of community corrections agencies adopted this model and reported modest success.