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The Unintended Impacts of Deterrence-Based Policies

Many states across the U.S. have adopted deterrence-based policies aimed to reduce crime and recidivism through the threat of imprisonment. However, prior research indicates mixed support for the effectiveness of deterrence. My recent research using secondary data examines the impacts of deterrence-based policies (i.e., mandatory minimum sentences in Oregon, graduated sanctions in Kansas) to determine whether these approaches work as intended. Overall, the results suggest unintended and even adverse effects of these laws. 



Sundt, J., & Boppre, B. (In press). Did Oregon’s Tough Mandatory Sentencing Law “Measure 11” Improve Public Safety? New Evidence About an Old Debate from a Multiple-Design, Experimental Strategy. Justice Quarterly. 

Browne, G. E., Melander, L., Boppre, B. & Edwards, M. E. The Gendered Effects of a Graduated Sanctions Model on Probation Outcomes in Kansas. (Under review, Criminal Justice Policy Review)


Evidence-Based Practices in Corrections: Implementation and Evaluation 

I was a graduate research assistant under Drs. Jody Sundt (University of North Texas) and Emily Salisbury (University of Utah) on a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grant. We used mixed methods (survey and focus groups) to assess agencies’ abilities to implement evidence-based practices in Oregon. My colleagues and I since published two articles from this project. As a whole, the project revealed the importance of using implementation science to ensure fidelity and sustainability of evidence-based practices. We used Fixsen and colleagues' (2015) National Implementation Research Network resources and implemapping guide to apply their work to the field of corrections (see figure below). 

My work on the BJA grant was pivotal towards cultivating partnerships with correctional agencies in the field. Soon after moving to Wichita, I became a co-investigator with Dr. Delores Craig-Moreland for an ongoing evaluation project with Sedgwick County Division of Corrections. This project ensures Sedgwick County uses evidence-based practices with high treatment fidelity. Thus far, I've helped with evaluations of Adult Intensive Supervision, Drug Court, and juvenile supervision for girls. I was nominated for a university award Excellence in Community Research due to my involvement with the Wichita community. 



2012 - 2014 - Bureau of Justice Assistance "Smart Probation" Grant

2019 - 2020 - Sedgwick County Division of Corrections: $38,175   

2018 - 2019 - Sedgwick County Division of Corrections: $36,357


Boppre, B., Sundt, J., & Salisbury, E. J. (2018). The Limitations and Strengths of the Evidence-Based Practice Attitude Scale (EBPAS) as a Measure of Correctional Employees’ Attitudes: A Psychometric Evaluation. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 62, 3947-3964.

Salisbury, E. J., Sundt, J., & Boppre, B. (2019). Mapping the Implementation Landscape: Assessing the Systematic Capacity of Statewide Community Corrections Agencies to Deliver Evidence-Based Practices. Corrections: Policy, Practice, and Research, 4, 19-38.

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