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Evidence-Based Practice in Los Angeles County Corrections: A Top-5 List of Real-World Foes

NCJ Number
Brian Center
Date Published
6 pages
This paper discusses five obstacles to the implementation of evidence-based practices at county jails.
This paper by the commander of the Community Transition Unit (CTU) within the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, describes five obstacles that inhibit implementation of evidence-based practices at county jails. Los Angeles County's CTU has been working towards shifting its practice to one that assesses inmates and creates case plans to meet their criminogenic needs, as well as providing them with a high-quality, cognitive-behavioral-based program to continue the care that they will need after their release from jail. The five obstacles that prevent implementation of evidence-based practices within local jails are, in reverse order: 5) hierarchy of needs - not being able to place reentry high on the priority list for law enforcement professionals; 4) funding - very little money being spent with a focus on shifting to evidence-based work; 3) logistical and systemic hurdles; 2) bureaucracy - in that government processes have been set up where actually getting things done is the last priority for officials; and 1) capability - no one in the organization has been trained in or understands how to do evidence-based work.