Evidence-Based Practices

Recent posts

Analysis: Holes in the Evidence for Evidence-Based


Why the evidence behind even the most highly-regarded treatment models for court-involved youth isn't nearly as strong as advertised.

There is an important place in juvenile justice reform for carefully crafted treatment models with hard evidence from randomized trials. And there’s an even more important place for rigorous outcomes measurement and data-driven decision making. But my suggestion that we can revolutionize juvenile justice in this country by replacing the current system with plug-and-play programs was a fantasy back in 2000. And it remains a fantasy today. Continue Reading →

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Evidence-Based ‘Gold Standard’: Coveted, Yet Controversial


It seemed a throwback to the days of the country doctor: Go to the patients instead of having them come to you. As a young intern in the pediatrics department at the University of Virginia’s medical school in the mid-1970s, Scott Henggeler got that advice from his supervisor, a social worker on staff. He heeded it, taking the department’s van out for house calls into the natural beauty of the Shenandoah Valley in the Charlottesville area and soon had an epiphany about the folly of trying to treat some of the most troubled youngsters in an office setting. “I visited probably about six, seven homes, and in each case, all it really took was to just set foot inside the door and you realized how goofy your academic treatment plan was,” Henggeler told JJIE. “Doing the home-based stuff just removed the barriers, really removed most of the barriers and helped you better engage with the families, but also very importantly, you got much more accurate assessment data. Continue Reading →

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OP-ED: Why Zero Tolerance Means More Kids in Jail


The United States imprisons more people than any other country — and a staggering number are juveniles. Sadly, our school system is contributing to the problem. Too many children are denied their right to a quality education and instead set on a path toward failure and incarceration. Continue Reading →

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