The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative in Kansas

The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative in Kansas

This page was updated in August 2017 to reflect progress in the state and in June 2019 to note the conclusion of the state’s work with the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative.


In 2011, the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative partnered with the Kansas Department of Corrections to establish a cost-benefit model customized to the state’s criminal justice system. The department then incorporated these findings into its annual planning efforts.

In June 2017, the state’s Performance Based Budgeting (PBB) Steering Committee began using the Results First approach to inventory program investments as part of its legislative charge. This committee was formed as part of 2016 legislation (H.B. 2739), which requires the state to implement performance-based budgeting.  


Staff at the Kansas Department of Corrections, with support from the state’s Sentencing Commission, developed the Kansas Results First model in 2011. The Results First cost-benefit model projects the expected return on investment of an array of adult criminal justice programs, including cognitive behavioral therapy for high-risk inmates, offender workforce development services, and community-based programming for nonviolent drug-possession offenders. The Department of Corrections included these model findings in its 2014 and 2015 annual reports.

Since 2016, the PBB Steering Committee—composed of leadership from the Kansas Division of the Budget and the Legislative Research Department—has been leading efforts to inventory agency program investments and assess the costs, evidence of effectiveness, and outcomes of state programs.

In 2017, the committee selected the Department for Children and Families (DCF) as a pilot agency to use Results First tools and technical assistance to inventory state programs. This program inventory process is the first step in bringing evidence and outcomes to the forefront of budget decisions and allocating resources to programs that have proved effective. Through 2017, staff from DCF and the Steering Committee worked to identify and assess the agency’s protection and prevention programs, and Results First shared tools and best practices in using evidence in policy and budget decisions. As a result of this engagement, DCF has incorporated evidence and outcome criteria into its vendor-operated service contracts to help ensure adequate data collection and support for effective programs.

Learn more about our state work.

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