This section will help you understand the type of routine assessment and evaluations your agency should conduct to support your ongoing TJC initiative. You will also learn the steps needed to plan your evaluations.
Routine assessment is the process of regularly gathering, analyzing, and interpreting your data to help you and your partnering agencies improve and revise the TJC initiative and its components. An important aim is to use your data to answer key questions about your jail transition processes – e.g., who are you serving, what are the criminogenic risks and needs of those individuals, what programs and interventions are these individuals receiving and do these programs meet their identified criminogenic needs? – and to modify and strengthen the application of the TJC model in your community based on the answer to those questions. A quality assurance process uses similar data but goes beyond data analysis to include assessment of how services and programming are delivered and may also include client satisfaction measures
We encourage you to establish mechanisms—such as forums, focus groups, routine reports from partner agencies and client satisfaction surveys—to obtain early and frequent feedback from partners and constituents.
Think of feedback as having the following components:1
The TJC initiative recommends that at least one partnering agency has the capacity to plan and implement routine assessments and evaluations of the initiative. This agency will utilize this capacity to advance the overarching goals of TJC and will feedback its results regularly to stakeholder decision makers to inform decision making, organizational reorientation, and resource allocation. Building your internal capacities to make evaluation part of your agency, instead of using outside consultants or evaluators to analyze your TJC initiative, is important because it
In Jacksonville, Florida, the Sheriff’s Department analyzes risk screen scores to identify candidates for pretrial risk assessment and for risk and criminogenic needs assessment. After reviewing the data, Jacksonville changed their procedures and began releasing inmates to pretrial servies with risk screen scores below certain cutoffs.
However, if you don’t have in-house research staff, you may want to partner with local research organizations or academic institution to help you with your evaluations.
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1 Miles, Mathew, Harvey Hornstein, Daniel Callahan, Paula Calder, and R. Steven Schiavo. 1969. “The Consequences of Survey Feedback: Theory and Evaluation.” In The Planning of Change, edited by Warren Bennis, Kenneth D. Benne, and Robert Chin (457–68). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
2 Hammett, Theodore M., Cheryl Roberts, Sofia Kennedy, and William Rhodes. 2004. “Evaluation of the Hampden County Public Health Model of Correctional Care.” Cambridge, MA: Abt Associates.