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

Step 1: Identify the problem

Before it is possible to design an effective service, it is essential that you are absolutely clear what attitudes, emotions or behaviours you are trying to change and why this should be a priority in the context you’re intending to work. An example:

WHAT is the problem? 55% of female prisoners surveyed in X prison say they poor relationships with family members. However, there are no specialist family interventions in X prison for short term female prisoners. 

WHY is this a problem? Poor family relationships decrease the likelihood of desistance from crime which is not only costly to society but can also increase the likelihood that the children of female prisoners develop mental health problems, drop out of school and get involved in crime.

What is your ULTIMATE AIM? Help to reduce the frequency of reconvictions of short term female prisoners by improving their family relationships and reduce the risk of their children becoming involved in crime.


Email: Catherine Bisset

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