Unlocking Knowledge: Florida's Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships

Unlocking Knowledge: Florida's Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships Work


National Institute of Justice


J.W. Andrew Ranson, Javier Ramos, George Pesta & Thomas G. Blomberg

Interviewees from the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) cited a successful RPP involving Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice. The partnership involved the evaluation of numerous FDOC programs by a credible third party, so as to enable policymakers and practitioners to make evidence-based decisions and improve correctional practices. Interviewees from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (FDJJ) often cited a successful partnership with Georgetown University and Vanderbuilt University that involved the implementation of the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol for Assessing Juvenile Justice programs. This tool was designed to compare residential programming with interventions supported by prior research. Serving as a fidelity assessment tool, it also includes a comparison of the dosage and quality of treatment. It is used in all residential programs. Four recommendations for developing effective RPPs are presented based on the study. First, in selecting an area for research, corrections organizations should identify areas where their data is most valid and reliable. Second, identification of an appropriate research partner is critical. One way is to approach researchers who attend practitioner-based trainings or conferences. Third, researchers and practitioners should openly and clearly communicate with one another in clarifying research questions and increasing mutual trust. Fourth, practitioners should allow researchers to use agency data to publish and disseminate their findings without restrictions.

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