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Evaluation of Criminal Justice Advisory Boards for Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2004
50 pages
Findings and recommendations are presented from an evaluative study conducted on the experiences and lessons learned of criminal justice advisory boards (CJABs) in the State of Pennsylvania.
The evaluation of CJABs in seven counties indicates an overwhelming consensus that these boards represent an important step forward for Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system. The reasons are similar from county to county. The boards fill an important need in providing a coordinated high-level approach to criminal justice problems and are systemic in providing a means to transcend departmental and cultural divisions in the pursuit of an improved system. The boards enhance communication, collaboration, and understanding and are moving from experimental to institutional status. However, it is not realistic to expect a relatively new CJAB to have a system impact. They have to be initially evaluated by other criteria, including organizational and procedural progress. Mature CJABs should be evaluated for impact and continuing effectiveness. There are roughly 30 Pennsylvania counties that have CJABs with most of them being quite new. The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) fostered this development, perceiving the potential of these boards in coordinating criminal justice programs and grant strategy. PCCD initiated an evaluation of the CJABs. The evaluation was based largely on a survey of seven CJABs. It provides in a structured way the experiences of the seven counties and the lessons of this experience. Tables