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Problem-Solving Initiatives, Assessment and Evaluation

During the past several decades, the United States’ criminal justice system has invested billions of dollars in policies and initiatives that were found not to have accomplished their goals. In times of fiscal crisis, such as the global recession of 2008 to 2012, there is a greater need for accountability and evidence-based initiatives that will succeed and be cost-effective.

To determine whether one approach is better than another, different approaches must be subjected to careful and skeptical scrutiny. It is important to know if a particular practice in criminal justice is worth the investment, is effective in terms of accomplishing its intended purpose, and is the better of competing options (or better than not having the practice at all). Furthermore, policymakers and politicians may require that ...

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