Evidence-Based Programs (EBP)

What are Evidence-Based Programs (EBP)

Essential to offender success is the efficacy of programming offered by the DOC and its partners. Research has shown that, absent an evidence-based intervention, an individual is no less likely to commit a crime upon his or her release from prison. Prison itself does not change behavior. Evidence-based programming is programming that has been shown to work. Rather than relying on a provider’s gut instincts or anecdotes about offenders who have turned their lives around, evidence-based programs (EBP) rely on research that demonstrates a program is effective.
In the corrections system, evidence-based programs use research and the best available data to guide policy and practice decisions. By focusing on programs shown to be effective through research, we can expect to improve outcomes for offenders and their victims.
This approach requires rigorous quality assurance and evaluation to ensure that evidence-based programs are implemented with fidelity, and that new programs are evaluated to determine their effectiveness. The department uses the Correctional Program Checklist (CPC) to evaluate whether programming is rooted in best practices. A commitment to evidence-based programs requires defined outcomes that can be measured, such as recidivism and victim satisfaction.
Legislative Direction
As a result of the Commission on Sentencing’s recommendations, the 2017 Legislature passed Senate Bill 59, directing the Department of Corrections to implement evidence-based programs. MCA 53-1-211 requires the department’s Quality Assurance Office to:
  • adopt an evidence-based program evaluation tool that measures how closely correctional programs meet the known principles of effective intervention
  • conduct regular evaluations of programs operated by or under a contract with the department
  • develop and maintain a list of evidence-based treatment curriculums to be utilized in programs operated by or under contract with the department, with priority being placed on adopting treatment curriculums that are in the public domain and evidence-based

EBP Proposal Forms

These forms require Microsoft Word. Please contact us if you require an alternate format.

Contact the Quality Assurance Office

Questions about evidence-based programs should be directed to Erika Wimmer at (406) 444-3910.
5 S. Last Chance Gulch
PO Box 201301
Helena, MT 59620-1301
To request a copy of a completed Correctional Program Checklist (CPC), please email CorEBP@mt.gov
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