Researchers’ understanding of what works in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services continues to evolve.
Unfortunately, research doesn’t always find its way to the right audience. For example, policymakers and practitioners may not have access to relevant research. Or when research is available, it may be hard to understand the results and apply those findings to practice.
CrimeSolutions.gov was created to help bridge this research-to-practice gap.
“CrimeSolutions.gov helps us take a ‘smart on crime’ approach that relies on data-driven, evidence-based analysis to identify and replicate justice-related programs that have shown real results in preventing and reducing crime and serving crime victims,” said Laurie O. Robinson, Assistant Attorney General, at the time of CrimeSolutions.gov’s launch in 2011.
CrimeSolutions.gov is a user-friendly clearinghouse that contains hundreds of rigorously evaluated programs and practices. It is a resource for practitioners and communities seeking to know what works, what is promising, and what does not work in corrections and reentry, courts, crime prevention, drugs and substance abuse, juvenile justice, law enforcement, school safety, and victims and victimization.
In 2011, as part of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Program’s Evidence Integration Initiative, DSG developed and has since operated CrimeSolutions.gov for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), DOJ’s research, development, and evaluation arm. Originally, the database only contained evaluated programs. Evaluated practices were added in 2014.
In 2013, DSG relaunched the Model Programs Guide (MPG) with juvenile justice and youth prevention, intervention, and treatment programs that were reviewed using the CrimeSolutions.gov program review process, scoring instrument, and evidence standards. MPG and CrimeSolutions.gov now share a common database of juvenile-related programs, which makes searches easier for users. For example, when a user on MPG selects a program, the user will see the CrimeSolutions.gov profile for that program open in a new window. CrimeSolutions.gov also shares a database with the National Mentoring Resource Center (for youth mentoring programs) and Youth.gov (although the Youth.gov database includes content from other databases).
Also, in 2014, inresponse to a string of tragic mass shootings, including at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., NIJ asked DSG to conduct an evidence assessment of school safety programs and practices to add to CrimeSolutions.gov. As of 2018, there were over 60 programs and practices on CrimeSolutions.gov related to enhancing and improving school safety.
In 2016, the What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse (WWRC) merged with CrimeSolutions.gov. This was done to provide practitioners and policymakers with a single place to search for what works, what doesn’t, and what’s promising in reentry programs. Each program from the WWRC was re-reviewed and rated using the CrimeSolutions.gov program scoring instrument.