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Evidence-Based ‘Gold Standard’: Coveted, Yet Controversial

Aug 13, 2014, Gary Gately, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

The [evidence-based practice] designation is both coveted and controversial.

Purists maintain only programs subjected to the highest scrutiny should be employed in juvenile justice, viewing them as akin to the gold standard in medicine.

Skeptics acknowledge programs designated EBPs can be very effective, but say limiting funding to such programs cuts off too many promising homegrown and grassroots programs that aren't big brand names in the field.

In juvenile justice, the term evidence-based practices can be traced at least until the mid-1990s, when randomized, controlled trials – modeled after those used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when reviewing applications for new drugs – tested the effectiveness of particular juvenile justice programs.

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Reform areas: Evidence-based practices

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