How Researchers Can Develop Successful Relationships with Criminal Justice Practitioners

How Researchers Can Develop Successful Relationships with Criminal Justice Practitioners, Findings from the Researcher‐Practitioner Partnerships Study (RPPS)


Tami P. Sullivan, Enna Khondkaryan, Lauren Moss‐Racusin, Bonnie S. Fisher

The benefits of researcher‐practitioner collaborations within the criminal justice (CJ) system are many. They enhance responses to critical challenges facing communities. They lessen the gap between those who work on the front lines and those who study the system. They provide practitioners with evidence upon which to base their practices, services, and policies, and researchers with experience upon which to further their programs of research. By working together and pooling their distinct knowledge, experience, and talent, researchers and practitioners can create uniquely comprehensive projects and products that have the potential to change practices, policies, and services.

To help ensure that collaborations proliferate, all parties must understand what contributes to a collaboration’s success. Therefore, we conducted 

interviews and focus groups with researchers and CJ system practitioners from the United States and Canada who have collaborated successfully. These individuals’ experiences can inform future collaborations and the production of evidence that can be translated into new or improved policies, practices, and services. Based upon the information we gained, this brief will provide recommendations for researchers on how to collaborate successfully with CJ system practitioners.

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