Designing and Evaluating Interventions to Reduce Crime and Reoffending Summary

A summary version of guidance on how to use the 5 Step Approach to designing and evaluating criminal justice interventions.


Authored by Catherine Bisset

The 5 Step Approach

The 5 step approach to evaluation

Identity Identify the problem arrow If your ultimate aim is to change people’s behaviour, you need to be clear what it is you are trying to change and why there is currently a need for this to happen.
Review Review the evidence arrow Interventions should be clearly structured and designed using robust evidence so it is important to be familiar with the results from relevant ‘what works’ and desistance evidence-base.  If the aim of the intervention is more specific, for example to promote recovery from drug addiction or to improve parenting skills then also track down the relevant evidence-base and embed the findings into how the service works.


Draw Draw a logic model arrow A logic model is a diagram which shows, step-by-step, why the activities you plan should achieve your aims. The logic model forms the basis for evaluating the whole project – you are going to test whether these steps happened as you predicted.
Identify Identify Indicators and monitor your model arrow Use the logic model to identify indicators (i.e. measurements or observations) that things actually happen as you predicted. You will need to collect data about your project FROM THE START on inputs, activities, users, short, medium and long-term outcomes.
Evaluate Evaluate logic model arrow Analyse the data you’ve collected on your various indictors to evaluate how well your project worked for your various users. Report on whether your data suggests the logic model worked as planned. Be honest about any areas which were less effective. Use this to improve your service.


Email: Catherine Bisset

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