The Iowa Department of Corrections has a long tradition of using evidence of effectiveness to prioritize and evaluate programming. But it lacked information about the efficacy of alternative programs in reducing recidivism and about their long-term costs and benefits.
To fill this gap, the department partnered in 2011 with the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative to build a cost-benefit analysis model to compare programs based on effectiveness, cost, and expected benefits. Policymakers and program administrators can then use that data to make more informed policy and budget decisions.
This video documents Iowa's progress in implementing its Results First model and highlights the state's accomplishments as of the summer of 2014, including customizing the model, reporting findings to policymakers, and using the findings to inform legislative and budget discussions.