The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative in Connecticut

This page was updated in March 2020 to note the conclusion of the state’s work with the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative.

Background

In March 2011, Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Senate President Pro Tempore Donald E. Williams Jr., and House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan submitted formal letters of invitation to the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative. These leaders highlighted their commitment to results-based accountability and data-driven decision-making and requested Results First’s help to use the cost-benefit model to identify and support cost-effective interventions for adult criminal and juvenile offenders.

Implementation

The Connecticut Results First project was launched in December 2011. Representative Toni Walker, House chair of the Appropriations Committee, and Mike Lawlor, undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning, co-chaired the initial policy work group that oversaw the first phase of the effort. That group comprised representatives from a range of organizations with an interest in cost-benefit analysis and evidence-based policymaking including the Office of Policy and Management, the legislative Office of Fiscal Analysis, relevant agencies, and state universities.

The Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP) at Central Connecticut State University led the multiagency work group to develop the cost-benefit analyses. In December 2012, the work group completed initial model implementation and produced preliminary results for a select number of adult criminal and juvenile justice programs.

Policy impact

The fiscal 2014-15 biennium budget established the Results First Policy Oversight Committee to “advise on the development and implementation of the Pew-MacArthur Results First cost-benefit analysis model, with the overall goal of promoting cost-effective policies and programming by the state” and required the Court Support Services Division of the judicial branch and the Department of Correction to assess the effectiveness of family violence programs and “consider findings from the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative's cost-benefit analysis model with respect to such programs.”

In July 2015, lawmakers enacted legislation that requires the state’s criminal justice agencies to submit program inventories to the Office of Policy and Management, the General Assembly, the Office of Fiscal Analysis, and IMRP. These bodies, in turn, are directed to use the inventories to annually produce cost-benefit analyses of programs as a resource for executive and legislative leadership during the budgeting process.

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