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Bridging the Research/Practice Gap: Street-Level Decision Making and Historical Influences Related to Use of Evidence-Based Practices in Adult Probation

NCJ Number
Date Published
327 pages
Using a mixed-method approach (ethnography and surveys), this study builds upon traditional "street-level" decisionmaking literature and broadens the scope of inquiry by critically examining how probation officers (POs) understand, define, and adapt new practices to their existing organizational routines; and it also examines the conditions under which POs make adaptations to policy and the role that organizational culture and an organization's history plays in shaping adaptation decisions.

This study highlights a number of challenges that must be addressed in replicating evidence-based practices in probation that were effective in specific jurisdictions. These identified challenges and associated adaptations of evidence-based practices can inform future implementation efforts. Before attempting to implement an evidence-based practice in a particular jurisdiction, a probation agency should compare the evidence-based practice with current probation practice in the jurisdiction in order to assess where changes will need to be made and the training that will be required. The replication of the evidence-based practices must take into account how POs are currently performing their jobs and the specific changes in their practices that will be required to implement the core features of the evidence-based practice being proposed for implementation. 21 tables, 13 references, and appended organizational survey

Date Published: January 1, 2015