Evolution of the Evidence-Based Movement

Interview with Sobem Nwoko, President, Joyfields Institute, and Founder, Evidence-Based Professionals Society


Please summarize the work you complete and the mission of Joyfields Institute and the Evidence-Based Professionals Society:

I have the good fortune to work with some very talented and committed individuals to understand, inform, and shape the field and other professionals on proven approaches for helping clients they work with be successful. Both companies are vehicles for doing the work. While Joyfields distributes specific evidence-based solutions for organizations and their employees through on-site and online training, programs implementation and organizational performance assessments, the EBPSociety caters to the broader community of evidence-based professionals, and produces live events designed to regularly bring them together to train, acquire professional credentials for their evidence-based expertise, and share lessons learned as they network with each other. The events include EB Pathways, with its two nested Masterclasses for Practitioners and Organizations. The Society also has an active blog and online resources the community is able to access 24/7. The Society also houses an online BETA membership that caters to the community featuring an online e-learning platform for ongoing evidence-based education (updates to come in 2020).

Continue reading about improving police officers' mental health Evolution of the Evidence-Based Movement

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Bullying and Its Correlation with School Violence

Dr. George Froggé, Austin Peay State University



This study examined bullying and its correlation with school violence.  Students at a mid-sized state university, in the southeast region of the United States, were surveyed to determine the different types of bullying they might have experienced:  face-to-face at school, by phone or text, and online through social media.  Consideration was given to the frequency of bullying type(s) and retaliatory incidents occurring because of a bullying offense.  The results indicated that face-to-face bullying at school was more prevalent than phone or text and social media bullying. Sixty-nine percent of the respondents reported knowing or witnessing a retaliatory incident due to a bullying offense.


American schools are supposed to provide a warm, friendly, nurturing environment, so our children may learn and grow up to be responsible citizens.  Instead, some of our country’s schools have become scenes of death and destruction because of shooting incidents. School violence and safety has become an important educational issue and affects everyone in our country.  Prior research has pointed to the notion of bullying as a contributing factor for school violence (Burgess et al., 2006; Harter et al., 2003; Leary et al., 2003; Sandler & Alpert, 2000).

Continue reading about improving police officers' mental health Bullying and Its Correlation with School Violence

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Evaluation Results from the Somerset County Day Reporting Center

  • David L. Myers, PhD, University of New Haven
  • Daniel R. Lee, PhD, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Dennis M. Giever, PhD, New Mexico State University

In September 2015, Somerset County, PA, received a 3-year “Smart Supervision: Reducing Prison Populations, Saving Money, and Creating Safer Communities” grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (under the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs). The goals of this funding program, now known as the “Innovations in Supervision Initiative” (ISI), are to develop and test innovative strategies and implement evidence-based probation and parole approaches. In turn, ISI seeks to improve supervision success rates and increase community safety, by effectively addressing client risk, needs, and recidivism. Receipt of grant funding in Somerset County followed previous successful efforts directed at justice system strategic planning, cross-systems mapping, and implementation of evidence-based approaches.

Continue reading about improving police officers' mental health Evaluation Results from the Somerset County Day Reporting Center

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Tackle the Root Causes of Juvenile Delinquency: Family-Based Early Intervention

Tackling juvenile delinquency

Tianyin Yu, University of New Haven

Executive Summary

Early onset of delinquent behavior is a predictor of chronic offending. To maximize the cost-effective benefits in fighting crime, policies need to take a proactive, multifaceted approach starting as early as the prenatal stage, with three concerns in mind – improving physical health of mother and child, improving family environment/parenting skills, and improving pre-school education. This policy brief is intended to reach the decision makers in the United States Department of Justice. Adequate funding should be set aside for family-based programs that start as early as the prenatal stage and continue across early childhood (5 years old). For cost effectiveness, programs should adopt a narrow targeting strategy and enroll populations at the highest risk: low-income, teenage mothers with no previous births.

Continue reading about the root causes of juvenile delinquency Tackle the Root Causes of Juvenile Delinquency: Family-Based Early Intervention

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Mindful or Suicidal: Recommendations for Improved Mental Health among Police Officers

Mindful or suicidal

Ewa K. Zielinska, University of New Haven

Executive Summary 

Despite multiple national initiatives, the suicide rate among police officers remains constant and higher than line of duty deaths. Recent research identifies mindfulness techniques as an effective way to improve mental health, including the risk factors of depression and suicide. While a significant portion of resources and funding are allocated to ensure the safety and physical fitness of officers, including firearms training and physical fitness programs, there is a limited number of holistic programs that ensure officers’ mental health wellness. Based on current research and pioneer initiatives, this document explores the following question: What role can mindfulness practices play in reducing the risk of suicide among police officers? The document concludes with recommendations for law enforcement agencies, including implementation of evidence-based mindfulness practices and cultivation a pro-wellness work etiquette. 

Continue reading about improving police officers' mental health Mindful or Suicidal: Recommendations for Improved Mental Health among Police Officers

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Body-Worn Cameras in State Correctional Agencies

Police and body cams

Kristi L. Greenberg, University of New Haven

Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to inform and advise state correctional agencies about the known use of body worn cameras (BWCs) and how they can be utilized to address some of the major problems that are faced within correctional settings. Discussions of what is known about the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), use of force, and staff burnout are offered, along with consideration of policing research on the use of BWCs, its advantages and disadvantages, and how state correctional agencies can benefit. Policy recommendations are offered that include a phased roll out of BWCs in pilot facilities, with monitoring and evaluation plans, in conjunction with enhanced training.

Continue reading about the use of body-worn cameras in state correctional agencies Body-Worn Cameras in State Correctional Agencies

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Connecticut Project Safe Neighborhoods 2016: A Youth Opportunity Initiative

Campus Sexual Assaults

Sara R. Jeffries, M.A.
David L. Myers, Ph.D.
Anne Kringen, Ph.D.
University of New Haven

Ronald W. Schack, Ph.D.
The Charter Oak Group

Acknowledgements: Connecticut Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) was organized around a task force, consisting of agencies from both New Haven and Bridgeport, to support crime prevention and gun violence reduction efforts for at-risk youth in inner cities. The Project Safe Neighborhood initiative would not have been successful without the cooperation of the task force members and their representatives:

• Connecticut Board of Education
• Bullard-Havens Technical High School
• Connecticut Business and Industry Association
• Eli Whitney Technical High School
• Integrated Wellness Group
• New Haven Office of the Mayor
• The Charter Oak Group
• The Justice Education Center, Inc. (TJEC)
• Researchers at University of New Haven
• U.S. Attorney’s Office
• Workforce Development Board in Bridgeport
• Youth STAT Youth Services Program
• Veterans Empowering Teens Through Support (or VETTS)
• Clinical Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Staff at Fairfield University
• Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch

Note: This project was supported by Grant No. 2016-GP-BX-0012 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Read more: Connecticut Project Safe Neighborhoods 2016: A Youth Opportunity Initiative

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A Review of “Use of Research Evidence by Criminal Justice Professionals”


Timothy Daty, University of New Haven 

This article previously appeared in ACJS Today. Permission was granted to republish it here.

In the recent issue of Justice Policy Journal, Johnson and colleagues explore the use of research evidence by criminal justice professionals. In particular, the researchers discuss the underutilization of research evidence into policies and practices. Evidence-based practices serve an important role in the development and continued success of criminal justice policies and practices. Through use of research evidence, the criminal justice system can better understand the impact of various programs and develop targeted strategies. In the absence of these evidence-based practices, strategies are at a much higher risk of failing or even worsening a current situation. For criminal justice practitioners, successfully integrating this research into policy decisions can be accomplished in variety of ways. In this article, the authors provide a thorough review of current practices and describe different ways of improving evidence-based practices. To do so, three core issues are addressed in this article: the research-practice gap in the criminal justice system, strategies for increasing the use of research evidence in decision-making, and suggestions for future research.

Read more: A Review of “Use of Research Evidence by Criminal Justice Professionals”

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New Report Provides Framework for Research-Informed Juvenile Probation


Timothy Daty, University of New Haven
In the recent decades, research concerning juvenile offenders has greatly expanded and become quite influential in the shaping of policies and practices. In particular, research has consistently shown that juvenile populations represent a unique population of offenders and that distinct treatments are appropriate. Based on these findings, Harvell and colleagues (2018) argue that the criminal justice system must recognize such differences. Unlike adult offenders, juveniles are still developing both psychologically and biologically. As a result, juveniles often have lower self-control, especially during emotional situations. In these instances, behavior can be widely affected and delinquency can result (Harvell et al., 2018; National Research Council, 2013). Creating strategies that are specifically tailored to juvenile offenders is the most effective course of action to reduce reoffending. In their research report, Harvell et al. (2018) stress collaboration between researchers and practitioners, particularly within juvenile probation.

Read more: New Report Provides Framework for Research-Informed Juvenile Probation

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Human Trafficking in the United States: Significance of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA)


Sarbjeet Kaur, University of New Haven
One of the greatest human rights violations in today’s world is human trafficking, which has been growing at an alarming rate. Every year, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders; 80% of them are females, of which about half of those are children (U.S. Department of State, 2004, p. 6). This epidemic is complicated, involving not just neighboring or within countries, but across different continents. In 2014, the number of different trafficking flows was more than 500 (UNODC, 2016, p. 1). With the United States being one of the top 10 destination countries, an outrageous number of persons are trafficked into this country every year. According to the annual report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), most of the victims brought into North America are from Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Most of these trafficked persons are brought into the country for sexual exploitation and forced labor, and the direst part is that due to the covert nature of this crime, it is hard to find the source countries for this trafficking (U.S. Department of State, 2009).

Read more: Human Trafficking in the United States: Significance of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act...

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