Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Justice Policy

Implementing and Sustaining Evidence-Based Practice in Juvenile Justice: A Case Study of a Rural State


US juvenile justice is at the forefront of experimentation with the evidence-based paradigm, whereby the best available research is utilized to help inform more rational and effective practice. Increasingly, state governments are playing a major role in this endeavor. Maine is one of these states and is the focus of this article. Using a case-study design, we set out to develop a fuller understanding of the events and processes that have contributed to the development, implementation, and sustainment of evidence-based practice in juvenile justice in the state. Four major themes emerged. First, Maine has benefited from strong and lasting leadership within its corrections department. These leaders paved the way for the implementation and sustainment of programs, including finding innovative ways to use existing resources. Second, the adoption of the Risk–Need–Responsivity model was important in laying the groundwork for the use of evidence-based programming. Third, collaborations within and among state agencies and public and private groups were essential. Finally, buy-in and support from multiple stakeholders was and continues to be essential to Maine’s work. Ongoing problems remain with respect to ensuring agencies prioritize fidelity to the model and locating increasingly scarce funding. Implications for other states are discussed. [Journal Abstract]

Suggested citation:
Rocque, M., Welsh, B. C., Greenwood, P. W., & King, E. (2013). Implementing and sustaining evidence-based practice in juvenile justice: A case study of a rural state. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. doi: 10.1177/0306624x13490661

Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Publish Date: 
June 11, 2013

Nellie Mae Education Foundation nominates Pious Ali for the Lawrence W. O'Toole Award

Pious Ali

Pious Ali, Youth and Community Engagement Specialist in Cutler’s Children, Youth, and Families Programs, has been nominated for the Lawrence W. O’Toole Award by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Pious is one of six nominees from the New England states.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation believes that student-centered learning – where learning is personalized, engaging, competency-based and not restricted to the classroom – will prepare young people to graduate high school ready to contribute to their communities and succeed. This award is given out each year to an individual, school district, or non-profit that has exhibited great leadership in moving student-centered approaches to learning forward in the New England region.

The winner will be selected by online voting and will be awarded a $100,000 grant to help advance student centered learning!


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A new report released by the Muskie School of Public Service reveals a racial bias towards minority youths in Maine's juvenile justice system.

"Disproportionate Contact: Youth of Color in Maine's Juvenile Justice System" examines racial disparities in the system and provides recommendations on how to move toward racial equity. Robyn Dumont, Erica King and George Shaler of the Muskie School's Justice Policy Program authored the mixed-method report.

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Cover: Maine Crime and Justice Data Book 2014

Using the most recent public safety, corrections, and court data available, the Maine Crime and Justice Data Book presents a portrait of the state's crime and justice indicators, including 10-year trends in Maine and comparisons with northern New England and the U.S. at large.

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