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Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Implementation Science

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2015
7 pages

Based on a literature review, this paper examines issues in the application of Implementation Science - "the study of methods to promote the use and integration of research evidence into policy and practice" (Lobb and Codlitz, 2013) - in the juvenile justice field, so as to develop effective strategies for encouraging and facilitating the use of research on what works and does not work in policies and practices for managing and treating at-risk and justice-involved youth.


Since there are a number of models and frameworks that researchers have developed to assist practitioners in incorporating research findings into policy and practice, some examples of these models are described. Although these models are informed by research on implementation, little research has been done on these models' effectiveness. One framework that has been used in the criminal justice community was developed through the Evidence-Based Decision-Making (EBDM) in Local Criminal Justice System Initiative. This was launched by the National Institute of Corrections in 2008. Its primary goal is to build a system-wide framework (arrest through final disposition and discharge) that will result in more collaborative, evidence-based decisionmaking and practices in local criminal justice systems. This paper then identifies challenges in promoting and integrating research evidence into juvenile justice policies and practices. It notes that rigorous implementation science studies are limited in this field. There are few assessments of whether innovations reported to increase the use of science in policy have had or are having their intended effects. Some efforts in this area are reported. The paper concludes with the recommendation that future studies on implementation science focus on both the supply side of research (the empirical work produced by researchers) and the demand side of research (practitioners' and policymakers' efforts to use research). 18 references

Date Published: April 1, 2015