Resources to Find Evidence-Based Programs

On this page we provide links to websites and online reports featuring listings and assessments of evidence about effective practices and programs. They are provided here as resources for criminal justice practitioners, planners, and policymakers. The websites are organized in diverse ways. Some of the links overlap; some of them include information about evidence-based practices in other areas besides criminal justice.

PEW Charitable Trusts Results First Initiative - The PEW Charitable Trusts is working with select counties across California to help officials make cost-effective criminal justice decisions that are evidence based. Under the Results First Initiative, the national nonprofit has set up extensive databases to assist policymakers in making informed decisions, especially regarding rehabilitative programs that are proven to work when offered with fidelity. The databases are available here for all to use:

For more information about Results First Click here:

U.S. Department of Justice - Bureau of Justice Assistance: An Introduction to Evidence-Based Practices (2014). This report contains links to many of the sources included below, and we have copied some of their descriptions.

National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP): Provides information on 270 programs rated as “effective,” “promising,” or “no evidence.”

NIJ, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Model Programs Guide. MPG rates over 200 juvenile justice programs rated as either “exemplary,” “effective,” or “promising.”

  Council of State Governments - “What works” rates 56 initiatives in six focus areas on a five-point scale: strong or modest evidence of a beneficial effect; no statistically significant findings; and strong or modest evidence of a harmful effect.

  Department of Health and Human Services - The Community Guide produces systematic reviews of effective programs in over 22 areas of health services, including violence, mental health, and alcohol abuse

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association - The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices produces systematic reviews of effective programs in over 22 areas of health services, including violence, mental health, and alcohol abuse.

The Campbell Collaboration - is an international social science research network that produces high quality, open and policy-relevant evidence syntheses, plain language summaries and policy briefs.

The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy - The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy provides ratings of 45 programs in 12 areas, including crime/violence prevention, K-12 education, and substance abuse prevention/treatment. Programs are designated as “top tier” (those with evidence of sizeable, sustained effects on important outcomes based on randomized controlled trials) or “near top tier” (missing evidence of sustained effects).

University of Colorado -  The Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development mission is to provide a comprehensive registry of scientifically proven and scalable interventions that prevent or reduce the likelihood of antisocial behavior and promote a healthy course of youth development and adult maturity.

Rand Corporation - The Promising Practices Network identifies programs that have been shown to improve outcomes for children. Programs are designated as “proven” or “promising.” The site includes 28 proven programs and 58 promising programs.

George Mason University - The Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society, provides a variety of resources related to evidence-based policing and other areas of criminal justice, including the translation of research to practice.

Washington State Institute for Public Policy - WSIPP is the research branch of the Washington state legislature, not an independent institute, Although it is affiliated with nearby Evergreen State College. It conducts research and program evaluations at the direction of the legislature. Below is the main link followed by specific links to reports and inventories. This project began over 10 years ago and continues to expand and update.

Inventory of Evidence-based, Research-based, and Promising Practices: Prevention and Intervention Services for Adult Behavioral Health (2014)

Inventory of Evidence-Based and Research-Based Programs for Adult Corrections

Prison, Police, and Programs: Evidence-Based Options that Reduce Crime and Save Money (2013)

What Works to Reduce Recidivism by Domestic Violence Offenders?

Updated Inventory of Evidence-Based, Research-Based, and Promising Practices