The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative in Wisconsin

Results First Initiative in Wisconsin


During fall 2013, staff from the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative traveled to Madison, Wisconsin, at the invitation of the Wisconsin Statewide Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. Several months later, the council voted unanimously to partner with Results First to incorporate cost-benefit analyses into policy and budget processes with the goal of producing higher returns on taxpayer investment.

All three branches of the state government issued letters in support of the effort. Governor Scott Walker favored the "utilization of cost-benefit analysis and evidence-based practices to guide our budget and policy decisions to achieve better performance and a more efficient government." Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson highlighted the synergy between the work of the Supreme Court Planning and Policy Advisory Committee's Effective Justice Strategies Subcommittee and the proposed Results First work in Wisconsin. The co-chairs of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance expressed their interest in using the Results First cost-benefit analysis model to inform future decisions.

Next steps

Wisconsin Results First officially launched in late August 2014. The model will initially be housed in the state Department of Corrections, which has initiated development of a full criminal justice program inventory focused on reducing recidivism.

The Statewide Criminal Justice Coordinating Council's Data Sharing and Outcomes, Trends, and Indicators subcommittees will eventually supervise the work and will decide the most appropriate long-term placement of the Results First model.

Learn more about our state work.