Using Lessons Learned From the Evaluation-Public Management Nexus in the Evaluation Design of a Prison Sex Offender Treatment Program

Kim English, Colorado Division of Criminal Justice
Nicole Hetz, Colorado Division of Criminal Justice

This paper describes the practical application of key concepts presented in Paper #1; specifically, the integration of several of the key principles described above into an actual program evaluation design. The program evaluated is the Colorado Department of Corrections' treatment program for sex offenders. The focus of the evaluation was the therapeutic community for sex offenders. To comprehensively design a formal process and outcome evaluation of this innovative prison treatment program, it was essential to begin with the theoretical foundation of interventions for adult sex offenders. Using theory, logic models, program development research on the treatment of sex offenders, and the draft Therapeutic Communities of America (TCA) Standards (1999) for TCs in prison and, equally important, the "what works in correctional programming" literature, we developed criteria against which to measure program performance. Using a variety of data collection methods, including treatment file reviews, offender focus groups, interviews, staff questionnaires, quantitative analysis of DOC operations data, and nearly 300 person-hours of observations, researchers provided both performance feedback and capacity building assistance to program managers. In sum, then, this presentation will discuss the practical application of key concepts discussed in Paper #1 in the context of the research design of the TC evaluation.

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Updated 05/20/2006