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Developing a National Performance Measurement System

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 67 Issue: 1 Dated: June 2003 Pages: 37-40
Kevin N. Wright Ph.D.
Ellen Wilson Fielding
Date Published
June 2003
4 pages
This article discusses the need for the development of a National Performance Measurement System in corrections and describes an effort by the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) to lay the groundwork for a national performance measurement system.
The last two decades have seen initiatives undertaken throughout government at all levels to ensure that public agencies serve the public interests. Today, public accountability emphasizes results-oriented management. In the 1990's, several corrections departments began the development of outcome-based performance system of management. The success of these new management practices and systems led the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) to push for the development of an outcome-based performance measurement system at the national level. This article discusses the efforts of the ASCA in their attempt to lay the foundation in the building of a performance-based management system in institutional corrections and across jurisdictions nationally. A brief history of ASCA’s project to develop a performance measurement system is presented as well as a performance measurement model. This initial effort laid the basic groundwork for a national performance measurement system by identifying a set of correctional standards, developing key indicators for those standards, and by specifying rules for measurement of the key indicators, allowing for cross-jurisdictional collection of information. ASCA’s intent was to create a system that was manageable and parsimonious to ensure success in the first attempt in designing a national system. References