News & Publications

2021 Publications

Link to ACES report on Correctional Education

Medical Professional Scholarships and Loan Forgiveness - A Service Assessment

Upcoming report to be published soon.

 

Link to ACES report on Correctional Education

Correctional Education - A Service Assessment

ACES analysis shows a modest decrease in recidivism for
education cohorts receiving Career Technical Education.
And although post-release employment is not effectively being tracked for this population, three of the five provider institutions reported an increase in employment tracking efforts.

 

Community Corrections Programs - A Service Assessment

CCPs were determined to be effective at reducing recidivism rates among program completers. The three-year average recidivism rate for the 2014 2016 CCP cohorts was 27.6%. This rate is 10.4% lower than the 38.0% recidivism rate of the rest of the offenders released from ADOC custody during that same period.

Updated March 10, 2020 to correct typographical errors on pages 4 and 5.

 

Recent News

Report shows lower recidivism rates in community corrections programs; legislation pending

The commission’s report describes community corrections as a middle ground for non-violent offenders in which an individual is not incarcerated, but is under more stringent surveillance than probation. They are supervised through office visits, home visits, drug testing and electronic monitoring. As of Sept. 30, 2020, there were 36 programs operating in 51 of Alabama’s 67 counties.

THE FUTURE OF WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW: Evidence-Based Government Gets a Boost During COVID

ACES is tasked with bringing a data-based lens to every program that receives a direct budget appropriation, including health and human services, education, criminal justice, and youth and rehab services. Morgan and his staff make an annual work plan for evaluations based on four principals — efficiency, effectiveness, collaboration and capacity — though all four may not apply in every case.

Results-Driven Governing | Q&A With Senator Arthur Orr

Results-Driven Governing | Q&A With Senator Arthur Orr

So that brings us to our current status: How do we have an independent group that will evaluate the programs and services of our government, and be a fair arbiter of what is working well for the dollars we are spending? And are there programs that could be more effective if they had more funding? Or are there programs that quite frankly need to be put to rest? That’s the reason we started the Alabama Commission on the Evaluation of Services, or ACES. We can make much more precise, targeted funding decisions knowing the programs that are out there and having them evaluated.

Improvements needed in state’s suicide prevention efforts

“No single organization is responsible for coordinating the state’s suicide prevention efforts, resulting in no fewer than four state agencies and multiple partners implementing a fragmented system,” said the September report from the Alabama Commission on Evaluation of Services.

The report is the first for the commission, referred to as ACES, created through legislation in 2019 “for the purpose of advising the Legislature and the governor regarding the evaluation of services, which may include evidence-based policymaking, within the state.”

The ABCs of Evidence-Informed Policymaking

Alabama lawmakers passed legislation in 2019 to create a Commission on the Evaluation of Services. Co-chaired by executive and legislative branch leaders, the commission evaluates the effectiveness of state services and advises the legislature and governor on program evaluation and resource allocation.

New Commission Will Advise Alabama Leaders on Effectiveness of State Services

“In some states that have moved to more evidence-based decision-making, the legislatures drive the changes. For example, a joint legislative committee in Mississippi routinely looks at performance evaluations and expenditure reviews to assess agency programming. Elsewhere, the executive branch takes the lead:”

State Leaders Discuss How to Sustain Evidence-Based Policymaking Reform

“To ensure that processes relying on evidence are adopted in sustainable, long-term ways, states need to build significant support. Gaining buy-in from both the executive and legislative branches can be critical.

 

For officials in Alabama, deciding which branch of government would house this work had been a delicate balancing act. The state’s rapid, innovative approach to cataloging services and a pilot engagement with the Department of Mental Health paved the way for the latest development: creation of a new commission to study and evaluate programs, the Alabama Commission on the Evaluation of Services (ACES).

2020 Publications

Suicide Prevention Programs - A Program Evaluation

Alabama’s suicide rate is growing at a faster rate than comparable states. Since 2008, Alabama’s suicide rate has increased 31% with the majority of suicide related deaths occurring in white, middle-aged males. Alabama’s state plan and activities have primarily focused on youth ages 10-24 but the largest at-risk population is outside that range and represents 87.5% of the state’s total suicides.

 

What we know about Suicide in Alabama

Suicide Deaths are Costly

One study estimated that a single year’s suicide deaths cost the State $790,902,000 in lifetime medical and work loss.

 

2019 Publications – ASTEP

Investing in Outcomes

By focusing and investing in outcomes, agencies and service providers can re-direct efforts to long-term benefits rather than short-term outputs.

The Right Services...

Strategic Evaluation is a cost-effective approach to ensuring services delivered impact the desired outcome policymakers and public managers intended.

Addressing Health Outcomes...

Obesity is one of the costliest health conditions in the United States and Alabama, leading to billions of dollars in healthcare costs, lost wages, and lost tax revenue.