The only way to improve outcomes is to try something, measure it, and scale it if evaluation shows that it is promising. If it’s not effective, we figure out why, adjust, and try again. A study that shows absent or negative effects isn’t a failure—we learn as much from these studies as we do from studies that show what does work. When [Pennsylvania DOC] saw mixed outcomes from the research trial of an in-prison swift, certain, and fair (SCF) program, it forced us to look at the policy and design to understand why. We’re now adapting a more consistent policy that builds on strengths in areas of the program that showed positive outcomes.
Posted on by Kelly Smith