Process and Outcome Evaluations

The Justice Management Institute (JMI) evaluates new and innovative justice programs and the impact of existing programs and services to determine whether they are meeting long and short term goals, as designed. Evaluations are an important component to a well-administered government as they help empirically demonstrate what impact, benefit and cost programs are having and help inform decision making about what works and does not work.

JMI conducts both process evaluations, which focus on program implementation and operation, and outcome/impact evaluations, which focus on the effects or outcomes of the program. A process evaluation can answer questions about how well the program was implemented, if it was implemented with fidelity,  the processes or procedures used to carry out the functions of the program; and whether or not any contextual conditions may have affected implementation. An outcome evaluation answers questions regarding program effectiveness; addresses whether a program is achieving its goals and objectives; and examines unintended consequences, both positive and negative.  An outcome evaluation also helps establish a causal relationship between the program activities and any observed impacts.

Project Highlights

Evaluation of the King County, WA Graduated Sanctions Program

JMI, along with the American Probation and Parole Association, conducted a process evaluation of a graduated sanctions and incentives pilot program in King County, Washington.  The importance of ensuring fidelity to the model and applying sanctions and incentives consistently were among the major findings of the study.

Improving Witness Safety and Preventing Witness Intimidation in the Justice System: Benchmarks for Progress

Through grant funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, JMI with AEquitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence against Women conducted a case study of the work in Duluth, Minnesota; Knoxville, Tennessee; and San Diego, California to enhance their witness safety and offender accountability programs. The publication outlines a conceptual model to measure the prevalence of actual intimidation in any jurisdiction. Ten best practice principles are identified, against which jurisdictions can assess and compare their own system responses, using system-level and line staff rubrics.  Benchmarks for Progress also outlines a change management process grounded in careful analysis of the witness safety and offender accountability based on this model. Read more . . .

Outcome Evaluation of the Seattle Municipal Court

JMI has conducted both an implementation and outcome evaluation of the Seattle Municipal Community Court. Our work focused on the strengths and weaknesses of the community court during the implementation phase and offered recommendations for future improvement. Subsequently, JMI conducted an outcome evaluation to assess the extent to which the community court was effective in reducing the recidivism rate. Read more . . .

Ventura County, CA Day Fines Program

In 1995, JMI completed an evaluation of the Ventura County, California day fine pilot project. The report documents the evaluation and describes the planning process; examines the reasons why the project was terminated; and assesses what has been learned from this experience and develop recommendations concerning future development of policy with respect to the use of fines as criminal sanctions. Read more . . .


Aimee WickmanProcess and Outcome Evaluations