Why Evidence-Based Programs?

In order to provide the best possible service and results to our clients, Evidence-Based Associates (EBA) centers our business on a small set of internationally-recognized, research-proven programs known as evidence-based programs (EBPs). When servicing our clients, EBA contracts only with those programs that meet the highest standards of scientific scrutiny. These programs are the best of the best—proven by research and data to generate positive results.

An example of how EBP's can turn lives around and save taxpayer dollars, is EBA's Redirection project in the state of Florida. This project, funded from 2004-2013, is an example of how utilizing EBPs vs. out-of-home placement is a more efficient and effective way to address juvenile delinquency issues. This chart outlines the savings.

Redirection Cost-Saving Chart

EBA only works with gold-standard, evidence-based programs because they:
  • Reduce taxpayers' costs. As noted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, in some places, the average cost to operate a detention bed exceeds $70,000 annually, and experts estimate that the cost of building, financing and operating a single bed over 20 years is approximately $1.5 million. EBPs are sufficiently less than out-of-home placement and can save an average of $30,000 per youth per year when utilized as an alternative to placement.

  • Eliminate the growing need for expensive new prison construction and staffing. Operating costs for public detention centers more than doubled between 1985 and 1995, from $362 million to almost $820 million (Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation). Instead of continuing to fund an ineffective, detrimental system for young offenders, we can redirect those funds to lower-cost, more effective programs.

  • Reduce re-arrests. Redirecting youth to evidence-based services will lower the severity level of future offenses.

  • Give troubled youth the chance to change. Youth served in evidence-based programs commit up to 50 percent fewer crimes.

View the Top 10 Reasons for Evidence-Based Programs

FACT: The large majority of programs implemented in our communities have little or no credible research or evidence of effectiveness, lead funders to risk having poor outcomes and squander millions in wasted resources each year.

FACT: Investments in proven, tested, research-based programs lead to greatly improved outcomes and significant cost savings.

According to a review by the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado, of the more than 900 prevention/intervention programs that claim to prevent or deter violence, drug use or delinquent behavior, less than 20 percent have any rigorous evaluation or proof of effectiveness.

EBA only utilizes programs that have met the highest standard of scientific inquiry and have a solid research foundation together with a demonstrated track record of success in terms of replication and support. We recommend the use of the Blueprints Model Program criteria as managed by the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, University of Colorado at Boulder. These criteria include the following:
  • Evidence of Deterrent Effect with a Strong Research Design
  • Sustained Effects
  • Multiple-site Replication
  • Costs Versus Benefits
"No respectable business would invest millions of dollars in an enterprise without assessing its profit potential. No reputable physician would subject a patient to a medical treatment for which there was no evidence of its effectiveness," says Delbert Elliott, director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence. "A responsible accounting to the taxpayers, private foundations, or businesses funding these programs requires that we justify these expenditures with tangible results."

We are so certain that we can deliver positive results due to our relationships and knowledge of evidence-based programs that our contracts are performance-based contracts—contracts guaranteeing the outcomes desired or returning funding for youth who don't succeed.