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Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System

NCJ Number
Date Published
41 pages

This document provides an overview of the Say Something anonymous reporting system, noting implications for criminal justice policy and practice in the U.S.


This report of the research project to investigate the effectiveness of the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System (SS-ARS) program is an effort to improve school safety. The report provides details on a cluster randomized control trial in collaboration with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS). The document lays out the research design and methodology, informs of participants and other collaborating organizations, discusses the project outcomes, lists artifacts including data sets and training activities, and provides an appendix of implementation interview themes. The research project had four major goals and five main objectives under those goals. The goals for the project were: to conduct a cluster randomized control trial to test the effectiveness of the SS-ARS intervention to improve participants’ ability to recognize signs of mental duress, violent antecedents, and other risk behaviors, in order to increase risk reporting and improve school response and climate over time; to examine changes in violence in school communities, such as fights or bullying, and student criminal justice involvement stemming from improved recognition and reporting of risk behaviors; to identify key factors associated with program fidelity, reach, adoption, and sustainability; and to perform a cost/effectiveness analysis. The five objectives were: to recruit 30 schools that would be randomly assigned to receive the SS-ARS program or, for the control group, the usual school safety practices; to conduct pre-and post-test surveys of students, teachers, and administrators attending both the intervention and control schools; to conduct structured interviews with key program personnel at all treatment schools, to assess program implementation factors and outcomes; and to extract administrative data from both intervention and control school records, to assess violent incidents and school response. Results indicated that SS-ARS improved both cognitive and school climate outcomes compared to schools without SS-ARS, and that SS-ARS may be a highly cost-effective method for school violence prevention.

Date Published: January 1, 2023