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. was created to help bridge this research-to-practice gap.


“ 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, then-assistant attorney general, at the time of’s launch in 2011. 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.


As part of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Program’s Evidence Integration Initiative, DSG in 2011 developed and has since operated 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 reviewed using the program review process, scoring instrument, and evidence standards. In fact, the MPG and share a common database of juvenile-related programs. When a user on MPG selects a juvenile program, the user will see the profile open in a new window. also shares a database with the National Mentoring Resource Center (for youth mentoring programs) and  (although the database includes content from other databases).

Also, in response to a string of tragic mass shootings, including at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., NIJ in 2014 asked DSG to conduct an evidence assessment of school safety programs and practices to be added to As of 2018, there were over 60 programs and practices on related to enhancing and improving school safety.

In 2016, the What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse (WWRC) merge with 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 program scoring instrument.


Want to nominate a program or practice for review and inclusion on Fill out the online nomination form.

Contact Project Director Rachel Stephenson at


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