Data & Text Mining
Both data and text mining have been of increased interest over the past 30 years. Many attempts at the application of these advanced techniques fail because of poorly defined goals. Using a directed and intentional planning process, we use data and text mining techniques to help you understand the relationships in your data and how to use the results of analysis to increase effectiveness and efficiency.
Determining if a program has its intended impact is critical in an era of evidence based practices. Part of the outcome evaluation process involves determining whether a program has been implemented as designed and is reaching the targeted population. When we conduct program evaluation we attempt to develop sound measures that provide an understanding of program operations and target population prior to progressing to the outcome evaluation. Naturally, a program that is not implemented as designed or is reaching the wrong individuals is much more likely to be ineffective. We have evaluated hundreds of correctional programs and interventions over the past 20 years including: program content, program staff, staff skills (through direct observation or recorded interactions), process and outcome.
We have developed a flexible framework for the systematic assessment of criminal justice practices related to the management and rehabilitation of defendants and offenders for each of the contexts involved in criminal justice processing. This process:
- Allows for assessment of a broader array of correctional programs than do other program assessment protocols.
- Allows for the assessment of specialized programs (e.g. substance abuse, assessment and case management, employment, cognitions, etc.).
- Provides funding agencies the flexibility to identify and weigh content areas that are most relevant for their population.
- More clearly defines program models (e.g., logic model, client change focus) versus activities (productive use of client time) for clearer outcome expectancies.
Risk Assessment Validations and Fidelity
Risk assessment instruments have become ubiquitous in the criminal justice system. While risk assessment is being used at multiple stages in the criminal justice system, the most common applications of risk assessment occur at pretrial and post-conviction stages. We have been involved in the development of some of the most widely used and researched risk assessment instrument at the pretrial and post-conviction stages. We have also been involved in meta-analyses of risk assessment instruments and validating several different risk assessments in several different contexts. Given our past experiences, we can assist in the development of risk assessments, validation, reliability, norming and testing for bias.