Technical Assistance

Strategic Problem-Solving

The Institute provides technical assistance with strategic problem-solving by criminal justice agencies and task forces, including (1) bringing to bear scientific findings about effective strategies, (2) framing strategic issues as analytical questions, (3) formulating analytical approaches to understanding crime problems for strategic purposes, (4) identifying information sources, (5) interpreting analytical results and drawing implications for strategic initiatives; and (6) assessing proposed strategic interventions as they are formulated, including the specification of the logic model on which the interventions are based.

Organizational and Systems Development

The Institute works with single agencies or multi-agency consortia to assist in planned change efforts designed to increase the effectiveness of operations and improve service delivery. We work with partner agencies to define organizational priorities, to identify resources to leverage, to assist in the undertaking of problem solving, and to craft strategic responses that are supported by social science. We also help our partner agencies identify performance outcomes for use in tracking and measuring change.

Examples of these efforts include: working with police departments to design and assist in the implementation and refinement of a Compstat mechanism, undertaking an assessment of county-wide systems for crime and intelligence analysis and providing recommendations for improvement, and conducting strength and needs assessment to support the development of a City’s Juvenile Delinquency Reduction Strategy.

Program Development

The Institute works with agency personnel to assemble information and evidence on program options, and to build a “logic model” of a program, that is, a depiction of the program ‘theory’ – how a program can be expected to produce valued outcomes and achieve its goals. An effort of this kind replaces loose assumptions about the mechanisms of program effects with explicit (and often more realistic) propositions about cause-and-effect connections. The Institute also works with agency partners to distill from evaluation findings the implications for program structure, operation, and management – that is, making practical use of the lessons that can be drawn from research.

Grant Application Assistance

The Institute has expertise in assisting agencies/clients in the preparation of grant applications. We work with agency partners/clients to demonstrate project or program logic and the connection to outcomes. Through clear specification of program logic applicants are positioned to specify for grant reviewers the broad goals, measurable objectives and quantifiable outcomes of their program. We draw on social science to assist partner agencies/clients to develop evidence-based or promising programs and through the work done during the proposal development we build the foundation for sustainability.