April 25, 2012 – Early intervention systems for police are widely regarded as a promising management tool for preventing police misconduct. Little is known about the effectiveness of such systems, however, because few have been evaluated empirically, and the evaluation designs have been weak. Today Finn Institute researchers Rob Worden, MoonSun Kim, Chris Harris, Shelley Hyland, and Shelagh Dorn, with Mary Ann Pratte, completed an evaluation of one agency’s early intervention system, which showed that it had no beneficial effects on misconduct, but a small deterrent effect on police proactivity. Institute director Rob Worden said “early intervention systems are probably a good idea, but we doubt that the first-generation systems that exist today can fulfill the promise of early intervention. We hope that our findings will prompt the field to examine early intervention more closely, and to make a concerted effort to improve them structurally”. The study will appear in the journal Criminal Justice and Behavior.