Intensive Session: Pulling Back the Curtain on, “Research Says…”: Understanding Research, Talking about Change...


Sunday, August 18, 2019
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Session Type: Intensive

This workshop invites attendees at all levels in their organization to “pull back the curtain” on a commonly-used rationale for implementing new programs and practices in their agencies: “because research says so.” Attendees will learn the “nuts and bolts” of how practices receive the evidence-based label, the state of the research on probation EBPs, and how to build trust in research with staff who are tasked with using EBPs daily. This is not a repeat of the methods or statistics course taken in college, rather the workshop’s approach is to help practitioners consider research evidence in context of their existing agency programs and practices, and help identify and make informed decisions about selecting, implementing, and adapting new evidenced-based practices. This workshop is ideal for evidence-based practices managers, upper administration, subject matter experts, coaches, and line officers looking to advance their knowledge, and feel more confident about what works because “research says” it does.


Holly Aleandro
Deputy Chief, VA Department of Corrections

Holly Aleandro, is a Deputy Chief with the Virginia Department of Corrections. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts from Monmouth University in Psychology and Criminal Justice where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Serving in her twelfth year with the Department of Corrections, she previously supervised general caseloads, intensive caseloads and sex offender caseloads, she now oversees nine officers while actively involved in various agency workgroups. She is also engaged with numerous professional groups, including her role as Virginia Sex Offender Treatment Association Board Member and Virginia Probation Parole Association Representative and South States Correctional Association member. In addition to her involvement with various agency workgroups, she also assists with training (Community Operational Assessment, Soaring, PDSA) and implementation of agency programs (Soaring, PDSA).

Dr. Kimberly Kras
Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts - Lowell

Kimberly Kras, PhD is an Assistant Professor at San Diego State University. Her work centers on the study of community corrections, reentry and desistance from offending behavior, and utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Dr. Kras’ research considers how offender behavior change occurs from both the offenders’ and community corrections agents’ perspectives by examining reentry-related experiences, collateral consequences of conviction, and evidence-based practices. Dr. Kras’ work has been published in Criminology and Public Policy, the Journal of Criminal Justice, and the Journal of Drug Issues. Dr. Kras’ work is also focused on translating research findings into practice through practitioner publications and on-site and web-based trainings.

Shannon Magnuson
Research Associate, George Mason University

Shannon Magnuson, MS, is a Doctoral Candidate at George Mason University and a Research Assistant (contractor) at the National Institute of Justice. Her research interests include the intersection of implementation/change management and justice organizations. Shannon’s dissertation explores how four state prisons grappled with mandated reform within their Restricted Housing Units. Her questions consider how each institution implemented the reform, how the reform inmates living and staff working in Restricted Housing Units and the direct and indirect impacts of the reform on individuals, the unit and the institution, more broadly.

Faye S. Taxman, PhD
University Professor, George Mason University

Faye S Taxman, Ph.D. is a University Professor in the Criminology, Law and Society Department and Director of the Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence at George Mason University. Dr. Taxman is recognized for her work in the development of the seamless systems of care models that link the criminal justice with other service delivery systems as well as reengineering probation and parole supervision services, and organizational change models. Her work covers the breadth of the correctional system from jails and prisons to community corrections and adult and juvenile offenders, including all types of interventions and system improvement factors. She has had numerous grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, Office of National Drug Control Policy, and Bureau of Justice Assistance. Dr. Taxman has published over 190 articles including translational work such as the Tools of the Trade: A Guide to Incorporating Science into Practice, a publication of the National Institute on Corrections which provides a guidebook to implementation of science-based concepts into practice. She is the author (with Steve Belenko) of Implementing Evidence-Based Community Corrections and Addiction Treatment (Springer, 2011).