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Gender Responsive Interventions in the Era of Evidence-Based Practice: A Consumer's Guide to Understanding Research

NCJ Number
Patricia Van Voorhis
Date Published
June 2016
20 pages
This monograph emphasizes the need for policymakers and practitioners to understand the fundamentals of research in order to guide their work with justice-involved women.
This means being informed about research, i.e., findings from both gender-neutral and gender-responsive research, and understanding how studies are conducted (e.g., sample sizes and outcome measures). It also means having experienced designers of studies to be conducted within a jurisdiction's own agencies with its own data. This monograph is organized into four sections that discuss the four main types of studies that pertain to gender-responsive approaches. Qualitative population profiles are early studies that provide information on the characteristics and needs of female offenders. Risk assessment or prediction studies involve the construction of risk/needs assessments, such as the Women's Risk/Needs Assessment. These studies identify the needs that correlate statistically with recidivism for women. Evaluation studies determine whether a particular intervention has been effective in addressing or stabilizing a problem; and if so, whether the improvement led to reductions in recidivism. Meta-analyses are studies that combine the findings of many independent studies. Because of a historical lack of women-only studies, meta-analyses of gender responsive studies have only just begun. Each of the four sections on types of studies includes a short discussion of the importance of the research, including the benefits and limitations, issues, and controversies; a description of how such studies are designed and conducted; and a guide that indicates the salient points related to gender-responsive research. 39 references and 8 additional resources