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1a: Conducting an EBDM Readiness Checklist


Jurisdictions interested in working towards building an EBDM justice system may want to begin by assessing their readiness for undertaking such work. The EBDM Readiness Checklist is designed to establish your “baseline” for working together and to help you explore a range of team-, policy-, and practice-related elements in your system. The results of the checklist will provide an assessment of your jurisdiction’s readiness to build capacity for implementing the EBDM Framework and can be used as a foundation for moving forward with the EBDM planning process.


To measure and facilitate a dialogue among team members on the team’s readiness to begin working on building an EBDM justice system.


All policy team members should be involved in completing and debriefing the results of the Readiness Checklist.


The checklist is designed to serve as a catalyst for discussion on the team’s capacity and willingness to adopt the EBDM Framework. While the checklist may be administered in a variety of ways, it is critical that the results are discussed and processed by the full policy team.

Administering the Checklist

Below are several approaches a jurisdiction might take to administer the checklist. In all cases, there are two important considerations:

  • Members should be encouraged to be as honest as possible. Candor will lead to the most accurate—and therefore helpful—results.
  • Teams might consider using the services of a neutral facilitator1 to debrief the results and implications of the checklist responses. Often, a neutral facilitator can help a group objectively engage in constructive dialogue and action planning, particularly around sensitive issues.

Methods of Administration

Some of the ways that jurisdictions may consider conducting the checklist include the following:

Administer the checklist during a meeting of the full team, using transponders to collect real-time, anonymous answers from individual team members. This approach will likely result in candid feedback due to the anonymity; will provide members with the opportunity to immediately see—through the visual results the transponder system offers—areas of agreement and diversity of view; and will create a forum for dialogue about a variety of team-, policy-, and practice-related issues.

The checklist may be distributed on paper for team members to complete individually either before or during a meeting, and responses can either be aggregated and reviewed or discussed in an open forum.

The survey may also be conducted online in advance of a policy team meeting using an online survey service (e.g., Survey Monkey). The results should then be tallied and discussed during the team meeting.

Discussing Responses

Team members should discuss together the results of the checklist; it will likely surface important areas of work for the team to undertake. These areas of work can be addressed through the various documents provided in this EBDM Starter Kit. For instance, the team should discuss

  • the level of policy-level collaboration in the jurisdiction and key stakeholders’ level of commitment to future collaboration;
  • the extent to which the team has effectively engaged justice system agency staff—and community members—in discussions regarding a vision for an EBDM justice system;
  • the extent to which policymakers and agency staff have the knowledge and skills necessary to implement evidence-based decisions;
  • the breadth and depth of evidence-based practices currently in place in the jurisdiction (e.g., use of assessment tools, targeting services to criminogenic needs); and
  • policymakers’ willingness to agree upon systemwide outcomes, and the jurisdiction’s ability to collect and analyze data to measure these goals.

The checklist is not intended to provide a list of items that must be addressed prior to a team starting the EBDM process. However, the checklist does include the core activities that a team will need to engage in for the successful implementation of the EBDM Framework. Therefore, if team members express serious concerns about certain items (particularly in terms of their commitment to working together), this may indicate that the time is not right to undertake this work and/or that further foundation-building is necessary before a jurisdiction is positioned to fully adopt the Framework.


1 Jurisdictions might explore whether technical assistance is available for this purpose.

Download the EBDM Readiness Checklist below.