This page was updated in May 2019 to note the conclusion of the county’s work with the Results First Initiative.
In July 2017, Cook County, Illinois, partnered with Results First to gain a better understanding of the evidence behind a subset of the county’s public safety programs. Leaders from the county’s Justice Advisory Council (JAC) aimed to assess grant-funded programs seeking to reduce recidivism among the criminal justice population.
Working alongside Results First partners, the county built a comprehensive inventory of all programs targeting recidivism reduction among both juvenile and adult offenders. This inventory allowed the JAC to gain a full picture of the evidence base behind its programs.
The JAC identified 23 programs targeting recidivism reduction, several of which were not evidence-based. The process illuminated the need for targeting specific programs for evaluation and expanding the county’s evidence-based offerings.
To better achieve intended outcomes, the JAC collaborated with the county procurement office to incorporate evidence principles into the county’s contracting process. The county integrated several questions into its buying plan, which now requires an evidence assessment upon review of grant proposals for JAC programming. Providers are also encouraged to look to the Results First Clearinghouse Database to identify effective interventions to meet service needs.