Evidence-Based Practices and Crossroads

The criminal justice system and the field of community corrections have undertaken dramatic transformation over the course of the last several decades. There is now extensive research from which we can distill the critical elements on what works in our efforts to reduce recidivism. This body of research is referred to as “Evidence-based Practices” (EBP).

EBP supports the objective of focusing our efforts on assessing the needs of offenders/juveniles and responding to those needs in proportional and effective ways of reducing recidivism, improving lives of offenders/juveniles, better allocation of resources, and enhancing public safety – all based on information-driven approaches. Evidence-based practices, through rigorous testing, now show practitioners in community corrections exactly what factors to focus on to reduce recidivism.

The “Big 4” risk/needs areas that must be addressed (according to Evidence-based Research) when working with offenders/juveniles in making pro-social changes in their lives include: (1) Criminal attitude, (2) Criminal behavior, (3)Anti-social peers/associates and family, and (4) Temperament/Personality. Thus the focus of NCTI’s Crossroads curricula is placed squarely on these four dynamic factors