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8a: Building a Plan for Implementation


Considerations for Developing Harm Reduction Goals and Objectives

  • How will the jurisdiction benefit as a whole (i.e., what are the intended harm reduction outcomes)?

  • How will the criminal justice system benefit from movement to an EBDM-based system?

  • What is an EBDM system intended to achieve or produce?

  • What significant changes do you expect from the implementation of EBDM in terms of system operation?

    • How will the costs to operate the system change?

    • How will case processing change at point of entry into the system, during the adjudication process, post-adjudication, and/or at point of release?

    • How will those in the system (i.e., victims, witnesses, and defendants) view the process?

  • How will EBDM impact those working in the system?

  • What types of information will convince you and others (including the public and funders) that the system is operating at an optimum level?

  • What types of information will convince you and others that the system is achieving what it is intended to achieve?

For more information, see 6a: Measuring Your Performance.

During the EBDM Initiative, your policy team has undertaken a number of preparation activities for implementing the Framework. These activities include

  • building a collaborative, multidisciplinary policy team;

  • preparing the team members’ individual agencies for change;

  • understanding current practice within each agency and across the system;

  • understanding and increasing your jurisdiction’s capacity to implement evidence-based practices;

  • developing logic models;

  • establishing common harm and risk reduction outcomes and performance measures (and displaying them on a system scorecard); and

  • developing plans for engaging broader support for the Initiative.

The culmination of these preparations leads your team to this final, but critically important, step: to develop a strategic action plan for implementation.


To create a clear, specific, measurable plan for implementing the policy and practice changes that the policy team agrees will advance evidence-based decision making in your jurisdiction and that will support the achievement of the justice system’s vision and goals.


All policy team members should be involved to some extent in the development of your implementation plan, particularly in the development of harm reduction goals and objectives. After these decisions have been reached, staff internal to the agency(ies)—usually with some background in conceptualizing, planning, and implementing policy or program initiatives—and/or outside experts can assist in the development of the implementation plan, with guidance and input from the policy team.


A number of preparation and self-assessment activities must occur simultaneously to lay the groundwork for implementing the EBDM Framework in a jurisdiction. These activities include developing harm reduction goals, objectives, and action steps; developing a systemwide logic model; drafting a communications strategy for gaining the buy-in of a broader set of stakeholders or the public; and creating a systemwide scorecard.[1] While every team will not develop its plan in the same way, the following steps are important to developing a comprehensive implementation plan:

  • Discuss and agree upon your team’s harm reduction goals, if your team has not come to some agreement on this already.[2]

  • Develop logic model(s). At a minimum, the team should develop a systemwide logic model that clearly outlines the path to achieving the team’s top harm reduction goals.[3] This activity will assist the team in developing many of the pieces of its implementation plan.

  • Develop objectives (which should be represented as outcomes in your logic model). Remember, while goals represent the desired end results of the system, objectives define the short-term indicators that demonstrate progress toward goal attainment and describe who or what will change, by how much, and over what period of time.

  • Define the action steps that will be necessary to achieve your harm reduction goals. (The major action steps can be found in the activities section of the logic model.)

    • Determine who from your jurisdiction will take the lead and who will need to be involved in these steps.

    • Determine the timing and sequence of these steps.

    • Consider any potential barriers to your work plan and strategize about how your team will overcome them. Barriers can be determined by considering the contextual conditions (i.e., the environment in which the local justice system operates, including political, economic, social, and cultural factors) that your team identified in your logic model.

    • Discuss how your team would like to engage a broader set of stakeholders and/or the public in EBDM, if you have not done so already.[4] Ensure that any agreements regarding this strategy are reflected in your work plan; these may encompass goals, objectives, and/or action steps, as appropriate.

The chart below displays these steps and indicates how these multiple activities might fit together.

Possible Steps to Developing an Implementation Work Plan

Step 1:
Develop Harm Reduction Goals

Develop the long-term harm reduction goals your team seeks to achieve.


Your harm reduction goals are recorded on your system scorecard.

Your harm reduction goals are the impacts on your logic model.

Your harm reduction goals are the “goals” on your work plan.


Harm Reduction Goal Example: Increasing the success rate of individuals who become involved in the justice system from the 2010 rate of x% to y% by 2014

Step 2:
Develop a Logic Model

After recording your harm reduction goals as the impacts on the logic model, follow 5a: Building Logic Models in order to determine the

  • short-term outcomes;

  • outputs;

  • activities;

  • inputs/resources; and

  • contextual conditions.


Once your logic model is complete, you can use the information it contains to build the rest of your work plan and scorecard.

Step 3:
Develop Objectives

Objectives define the short-term indicators that demonstrate progress toward attaining your harm reduction goals and describe who or what will change, by how much, and over what period of time.


Your objectives are the short-term outcomes on your logic model.

Your objectives are recorded as such on your work plan.


Objective Example: Decrease of X% in low risk defendants held in jail awaiting adjudication within X months

Step 4:
Develop Action Steps

Action steps are the “activities” on the logic model—the steps that must be taken to reach the objectives that will lead to your harm reduction goal. Since only major activities are likely included on the logic model, expand these—if and as needed—on your work plan to reflect all of the planned action steps.


Include as an action step on the work plan the development of agency-level logic models for all agencies significantly involved in the achievement of the objectives.


Actions Step Example: Train pretrial staff on use of assessment tool.

Step 5:
Determine Who Is Responsible/ Involved

Determine the person(s) responsible for accomplishing each action item, the person(s) responsible for decision making, needs related to resource allocation, and coordination with other entities. Record these assignments on the work plan.


Step 6:
Determine Timing and Sequencing
Define the timing and sequencing of the action steps. Record this information on the work plan.
Step 7:
Recognize Potential Barriers to Implementation
Consider the contextual conditions in your logic model and describe the potential barriers to implementation and strategies for addressing these barriers. Record these on the work plan.
Step 8:
Develop a Communications Strategy

If one or more harm reduction goals in your work plan do not include engaging new stakeholders, increasing support and engagement from the community, or communicating the jurisdiction’s harm reduction goals to the public, develop a strategy for doing so. Include it as an objective with action steps on the work plan.


Refer to 7a: Developing a Communications Strategy.


A template of a work plan is provided in the Appendix. It illustrates how the multiple elements of the work plan might be displayed in chart form.


  • It may not be possible to forecast the very specific steps for activities that will be accomplished in the later months; try to develop in more detail the more immediate tasks (i.e., 3–4 months) that need to be accomplished.

  • Teams may find that creating a visual timeline, separate from the work plan, is helpful in organizing the many anticipated tasks. An example of a timeline is provided.

  • If certain baseline data is not available, make sure to include in your work plan the anticipated steps your team will need to take to collect it.

  • Teams should revisit their implementation plans regularly to make revisions and adjustments as needed.


Mesa County, Colorado, Work Plan for Implementation (Excerpt from Full Document)

Arrest Decision

Harm Reduction GoalBy 2015, 75% of all offenders successfully completing sentences will not recidivate.
Objective 175% of staff trained will demonstrate a 50% increase from pretest to post test in
knowledge and understanding of EBDM and Proxy Tool use.
Objective 2Within 6 months of implementation, 95% of all arrest cases originating out of the 
Mesa County Sheriff’s Office will have a Proxy risk score in the narrative or on the summons.
Objective 3For all arrestees who are assessed using the Proxy Tool by the 
Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, less than 20% of low risk offenders will be put in jail.
 Date of CompletionLead PersonOthers ResponsibleResource NeedsPartner Coordination
Action Step 1Incorporate C.R.S. 16-5-207(2) 
into existing Arrest Standards
August 1, 2011Sheriff Stan HilkeyCaptain Steve Farlow, MCSOStaff time 
Action Step 2Publish and implement 
new standards
Upon completion. Law in effect.Sheriff Stan HilkeyCaptain Steve FarlowStaff time

Grand Jct PD

Fruita PD

Palisade PD

Colorado State Patrol

Action Step 3



Develop training syllabus for patrol officers 
on EBDM and use of Proxy Tool
November 1, 2011Sheriff Stan HilkeyBert NieslanikStaff time 
Action Step 4Develop Pocket Tool Proxy Instrument 
to be used by Patrol Officers
November 1, 2011Sheriff Stan HilkeyBert Nieslanik$ and staff time 
Action Step 5Develop Pre and Post Test on EBDM and 
Proxy use for Patrol Officer training
November 1, 2011Sheriff Stan HilkeyBert Nieslanik, Jennifer SheetzStaff time 
Action Step 6Develop policy for Mesa County Sheriff’s Office to use 
Proxy Tool and produce score on all summons 
and arrest documents and cases
December 1, 2011Sheriff Stan Hilkey Staff time 

Action Step 7


Training, including pre and post testing, 
for all Patrol Staff in Mesa County Sheriff’s Office on EBDM, 
use of Proxy Tool, 
Tool Pocket Guide, 
new MCSO policy, and implementation. 
Track #of Deputies trained
January 1, 2012–March 31, 2012Sheriff Stan HilkeyBert NieslanikStaff time 
Action Step 8Implement use of Proxy Tool, as trained, 
by all Sheriff’s Office Patrol Staff
April 1, 2012Sheriff Stan Hilkey Staff time 
Action Step 9Develop training program for all newly hired MCSO staff 
and ongoing in-service training on EBDM and Proxy Tool use
April 1, 2012 and ongoing as neededSheriff Stan Hilkey Staff timeField Training Officers

Action Step 10


Audit compliance and use of Proxy Tool by MCSO Patrol Deputies, 
produce data regarding % of summonses and arrest reports containing Proxy score
3, 6, & 12 months from implementation dateMCSO Compliance Officer Susan RedmondSheriff Stan HilkeyStaff time and access to records 
Action Step 11Track # of defendants arrested, # of defendants issued summonses, 
# of deviations from risk results, # of defendants with new charges post arrest, 
and # of defendants with new charges post summons
April 1, 2012 and ongoingPretrial Services Staff time and tracking toolsCounty Court, Sheriff’s Office
Action Step 12For use of all other local law enforcement agencies, incorporate Proxy Tool 
use and scoring procedures into Mesa County Arrest Standards 
DRAFT document
October 1, 2012Sheriff Stan HilkeyBert NieslanikStaff time 
Action Step 13Training of all Mesa County Patrol Officers from all agencies, 
including pre and post testing, on EBDM, use of Proxy Tool, Proxy
Tool Pocket Guide, 
recommended policy guidelines, and implementation. 
Track #of Officers trained
January 1, 2013–June 30, 2013Sheriff Stan Hilkey and StaffBert NieslanikStaff timeGrand Junction Police, Fruita Police, 
Palisade Police, and Colorado State Patrol
Action Step 14Implement new arrest standards with Proxy Tool 
use for all Mesa County Law Enforcement
July 1, 2013All agencies   
Action Step 15Development of agency/case-level logic modelAugust 1, 2011Sheriff Stan HilkeyExecutive Committee  
Potential BarriersCulture change of understanding EBDM and successful offender management post-arrest
Strategies to Address BarriersTraining, education, data collection


Pre-Sentence Investigations Report

Harm Reduction GoalBy 2015, 75% of all offenders successfully completing sentences will not recidivate.
Objective 1Reduce the risk for future harm to members of our community by designing and 
implementing a PSIR that addresses criminogenic needs, thereby allowing informed 
sentencing decisions, reducing the likelihood of future offending.
 Date of CompletionLead PersonOthers ResponsibleResource NeedsPartner Coordination
Action Step 1Build in temporary compliance with HB 1180 to 
address criminogenic factors in the PSIR
Aug 1, 2011Susan GilbertJanelle Carstens/Probation SupervisorStaff/
Consultation time
Action Step 2Develop and implement a training program to enhance awareness 
of HB 1180 and how the LSI is administered, 
scored, and incorporated into the temporary PSIR. 
This training will include a survey of stakeholders’ feedback on content preferences.
Aug 11, 2011ProbationCJSDOutside agency consultantDCJ, NIC, DPS
Action Step 3Implement temporary changes to PSIRAug 11, 2011Probation   

Action Step 4


Identify and establish a PSIR design workgroupAug 15, 2011

Susan Gilbert/


DA, bench, PD, CJSD, ADC, private defense barConsultationDPS-SCAO

Action Step 5



Research and evaluate statute, HB 1180, 
Colorado Probation Standards, 
and survey feedback and define target population for PSIR
Sept 15, 2011Chair of PSIR Design GroupJudges, DA, PD, Defense bar, 
Community Corrections, Probation

Action Step 6


Develop a draft of proposed changes to PSIRNov 1, 2011PSIR Design GroupLocal and StateConsultationDPS-SCAO
Action Step 7Present to stakeholders for feedback/approvalNov 1, 2011Susan Gilbert/Bert N./D.A.  N/a
Action Step 8Update final version of PSIRDec 1, 2011PSIR Design Group ConsultationDPS-SCAO

Action Step 9



Train stakeholder staff on redesigned PSIR 
and how it can be applied to sentencing decisions
Feb 15, 2012PSIR Design Group   

Action Step 10


Implement pilot in Judge Bottger’s court for 6 monthsMar 1, 2012Judge Bottger   
Action Step 11Develop agency/case-level logic modelAugust 1, 2011Susan GilbertExecutive Committee  

Potential Barriers



The content of the PSIR is set by statute, although recent statute requires that the PSIR include criminogenic 
needs effective 8/10/2011. In addition, State probation has a standardized format that is currently being 
written into the new database for electronic dissemination. Getting approval by all stakeholders of the content 
will be a challenge as all parties have strong opinions regarding content based on their roles in the system. 
Lack of exposure and awareness of the LSI content, coupled with how it is completed, could be a significant 
barrier to constructive conversations regarding the content and acceptance of a revised PSIR and/or 
summary page. Another barrier is limited resources (manpower) to dedicate to meetings.

Knowledge of an offender’s risk level needs to be available for the court to determine who should receive 
a comprehensive risk/needs assessment and a PSIR.

Strategies to Address Barriers


Work with the Colorado Department of Probation Services to address any concerns with the format or the pilot 
court in an effort to develop a format that will be implemented statewide. Encourage representation and 
participation of all PSIR stakeholders in the design of the PSIR so it is perceived by all stakeholders as a useful 
tool for making informed decisions. Training regarding the LSI will be essential in getting buy-in.

Continue to include defense bar and DA in conversations, trainings, and work groups to build confidence in the 
LSI tool and in the content of the PSIR.


Pilot Courtroom

Harm Reduction GoalBy 2015, 75% of all offenders successfully completing sentences will not recidivate.
Objective 150% reduction in defendants appearing in pilot division who spend more than 7 days in 
pretrial custody within six months of implementation of CISPR pretrial assessment tool
 Date of CompletionLead PersonOthers ResponsibleResource NeedsPartner Coordination

Action Step 1



Begin to consider results 
of CISPR pretrial 
assessment tool adopted 
via pretrial work plan in 
making release decisions
3/1/12BottgerDA, PD, ADC, private defense barApproved tool, agency to administerCJSD (administering agency)

Action Step 2



Gather 2006 baseline 
data (pilot judge 
division) on time spent 
in pretrial custody, FTA, 
and reoffense rate for 
those released
5/1/12Sheetz, CasselberryJail staff, court staffTime 

Action Step 3



Develop and implement 
plan to gather current 
data from pilot division 
on time spent by 
defendants in pretrial 
custody, FTA, and 
reoffense rate of those 
5/1/12Sheetz, CasselberryJail staff, court staffTime 
Action Step 4Compare results to 
Action Step 5Consider results and 
implications, including 
changing tool and 
changing court practices
8/1/12BottgerDA, PD, ADC, private defense bar, CJSD, SO  
Action Step 6Develop agency/case-
level logic model
8/1/11Judge BottgerExecutive Committee  

Potential Barriers



1) If the CISPR Tool is not available by March 1, 2012, this could require us to either delay use of a risk 
assessment tool or start with one tool and then switch to the Colorado tool when it is available, 
complicating outcome measurement.

2) We will need to overcome any reluctance on the part of defendants and their attorneys to submit to a 
pre-disposition assessment of any kind, even if it does not expressly call for incriminating information.

3) Timing of administration is critical. If administered before the defendant first appears in county court for 
video arraignment, the county court judge will have the benefit of the results. This will not only allow for 
earlier release, it will reduce the likelihood that the district court will significantly change the bond or bond 
conditions. Although such a change is not harmful per se, it could create the impression that the district 
court was critical of the county court’s bond decision.

4) A more liberal bond philosophy may result in fewer people entering substance abuse treatment as a 
bond condition.

Strategies to Address Barriers


1) Identify key players in CISPR development. See if district can help move along in any manner, including 
volunteering as a pilot district.

2) As CISPR has not been finalized, it is unknown what questions it will ask. Regardless, we will likely gain 
the confidence of the defense bar only through experience.

3) One solution is to get a commitment from the county court judges to follow EBDM principles in setting 
bond for felony defendants.

4) Monitor participation in “fast-track” meth treatment program.

Communications Strategy


Create an “interested players and parties” distribution list and send weekly short, yet informative, emails.

Utilize website to post updates for parties to access.

Hold brown bag lunches to generally discuss pilot and ongoing results.

Objective 2Within 12 months of implementation of sentencing guide, at least 30% of defendants sentenced to 
probation or community corrections will show a 10 point reduction in LSI score from sentencing to 
end of sentence
 Date of CompletionLead PersonOthers ResponsibleResource NeedsPartner Coordination

Action Step 1



Encourage defendants 
and attorneys from the 
bench to have a 
completed LSI for every 
defendant before 
sentencing in pilot 
OngoingBottgerProbation, defendants, 
defense counsel, DA’s
LSI, trained personnel to 
administer (already in place)
Action Step 2Use results of LSI, 
including new summary 
sheet, to inform 
sentencing decisions 
(get low risk people 
out of system, 
impose conditions to 
address 1–2 greatest 
needs of rest)
OngoingBottgerDA’s, defense counsel, 

Action Step 3



Use motivational 
techniques at 
OngoingBottgerPO’s trained in MI to monitor and 
suggest improvements
PO’s trained in MI (already in place); 
periodic judge training
Action Step 4Gather research on 
value of periodic in-
court reviews, 
including whom to 
include and how 
8/1/11BottgerModleyCurrent research 
Action Step 5Conduct periodic 
in-court reviews of 
medium and high 
risk offenders, if 
supported by 
OngoingBottgerDA’s, defense counsel, 
probation, CJSD
Action Step 6Re-administer LSI 
to offenders near 
end of sentence
defense counsel
Trained PO’s 
(already in place)
Action Step 7Gather baseline 
data on offenders 
sentenced in 2006
2/1/14Casselberry, probation Statistician 
Action Step 8Gather data on 
risk/needs of 
during pilot 
2/1/14Casselberry, probation Statistician 
Action Step 9Compare data4/1/14BottgerCasselberry, probationStatistician 

Potential Barriers



1) Because some members of the defense bar believe the LSI is biased and that results of any risk/needs 
assessment may portray some defendants in a less favorable light, some defendants will refuse to submit 
to an LSI or participate in the PSI process entirely.

2) Changing the format of the PSI is problematic because it has been standardized statewide.

3) Plea agreements that impose requirements inconsistent with LSI results

4) Lack of experience in MI techniques

5) We do not have a precise or measurable way to determine whether a sentence follows EBDM principles.

6) Outgoing risk/needs scores may be unavailable for some defendants sentenced in 2006.

Strategies to Address Barriers


1) Continue to meet with all parties to develop trust with one another on how the risk/needs information 
will be used. The courts should encourage participation in the PSI process and demonstrate how this 
information will be used in sentencing, proving that sentences will be imposed that match the risk/needs 
of the defendant. In addition, probation department will offer training to defense bar on LSI.

2) An acceptable alternative is to attach a face sheet to each PSI which gives the defendant’s risk level 
(low, medium, high) and identifies his or her top two to four criminogenic needs.

3) Persuading counsel and defendants to make open-ended plea agreements; rejecting agreements that 
impose conditions inconsistent with LSI results

4) Experience and training

5) Monitor research to see if anyone develops a way to determine whether a sentence follows EBDM 

6) Recognize limitations of data.

Communications Strategy

Distribute results as compiled to DA, PD, ADC, private defense bar, probation, CJSD, members of 
Executive Board, and Criminal Justice Leadership Council.

Consider public distribution.


Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Timeline for Implementation



Additional Resources/Readings

CSOM. (2007). Enhancing the management of adult and juvenile sex offenders: A handbook for policymakers and practitioners. Retrieved from

CEPP. (2005). Collaboration: A training curriculum to enhance the effectiveness of criminal justice teams. Retrieved from

McGarry, P., & Ney, B. (2006). Getting it right: Collaborative problem solving for criminal justice. (NIC Accession No. 019834). Retrieved from

Work Plan Template

Phase III Work Plan to Achieve Harm Reduction Goals

Harm Reduction Goal 
Objective 1 
 Date of CompletionLead PersonOthers ResponsibleResource NeedsPartner Coordination

Action Step 1




Action Step 2




Action Step 3




Potential Barriers




Strategies to Address Barriers


Objective 2 
 Date of CompletionLead PersonOthers ResponsibleResource NeedsPartner Coordination

Action Step 1




Action Step 2




Action Step 3




Potential Barriers




Strategies to Address Barriers




[1] See 6b: Developing a Systemwide Scorecard.

[2] For more detailed information on this process, see the first step in 6a: Measuring Your Performance.

[3] See 5a: Building Logic Models.

[4] See 7a: Developing a Communications Strategy.