Evidence-Based Decision Making and Sentencing

Yellow Puzzle -- iStock_000004625176SmallJMI is pleased to announce the availability of training for judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, and community corrections personnel to apply the knowledge about “what works” in changing offender behavior during the adjudication phase of the criminal justice process.  The Smarter Sentencing training is focused on helping practitioners understand the research behind different types of sentencing goals and the implications of this research for the various practitioners in the adjudication process.

The training begins with an overview of evidence-based decision making and evidence-based practices and the science behind and application of risk and needs assessments.  Participants have the opportunity to hear from prosecutors, judges, defense counsel, and victim advocates, who are involved in Smarter Sentencing or evidence-based decision making initiatives.  The practitioners’ panel is interactive and includes discussions of various challenges they faced as they implemented smarter sentencing practices and their approaches for overcoming these challenges.  Research on different sentencing options and programs for offenders is also discussed to help guide sentencing decisions which will have the greatest likelihood of changing offender behavior.  At the end of the training session, participants work in a team setting to discuss what would need to be done in their jurisdiction to move toward smarter sentencing practices and to develop a preliminary action plan for moving toward implementation.

Course Goals:

The course is designed to promote “smarter” sentencing based on the latest, high-quality criminal justice research in order to:

  • Improve public safety in the communities served by our systems,
  • Increase the capacity of criminal justice systems to change offender behavior and reduce recidivism, and
  • Reduce reliance on the expensive and often counter-productive sanction of incarceration.
Course Objectives:

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Define the goals of the criminal justice system and criminal sentencing process;
  • Identify the research-based smarter sentencing practices aimed at reducing recidivism;
  • Describe current practices in use around the country that reflect smarter sentencing research;
  • Apply research concerning the purpose and effectiveness of each goal; and
  • Work more effectively with other criminal justice stakeholders involved in the administration of justice.

The full in-person curriculum is approximately 12 hours in length (1 ½ days). It, however, is customizable to address issues specific to a state or jurisdiction and may be shortened in length, based on the logistical time available. It can also be customized and delivered for a single criminal justice audience.

JMI is able to present this program face-to-face in your jurisdiction or in any location you wish. JMI is also able to present and customize the program to be delivered via webcast. Please contact Robin Wosje at (703) 940-0325 or robinw@jmijustice.org for more information.

Aimee WickmanEvidence-Based Decision Making and Sentencing