Our Approach to Assisting Communities

Push Pins

The Diagnostic Center engages with a community after a local government executive or community leader contacts the Diagnostic Center to request assistance in implementing a data-driven approach to address a criminal justice, juvenile justice or victim services issue. These requests for assistance can encompass a community’s current or potential public safety challenges. After the initial contact, the community requestor completes a Background Questionnaire and Readiness Assessment. The Diagnostic Center uses the information provided in these documents to determine the scope and nature of the request for assistance. After the requestor completes the intake forms, the Diagnostic Center begins its three-phase technical assistance process, also called an engagement.

  • Specialized training
  • Peer-to-peer learning
  • Strategic plans and communications development
  • Multi-stakeholder workshops coordination
  • Federal program collaboration
  • Partnership facilitation with local academic institutions
  • Subject matter experts
  • Evaluation of implementation activities

Through a series of interviews with key stakeholders and a review of local data, the Diagnostic Center works with communities to synthesize information and gain a better understanding of the primary issue of concern. In close coordination with local criminal justice agencies, community leaders and national subject matter experts, the Diagnostic Center develops a Diagnostic Analysis that describes the key criminogenic and socioeconomic factors contributing to the issue at hand. In the Diagnostic Analysis, the Diagnostic Center maps these factors to evidence-based models and data-driven strategies that have been shown to positively address similar issues in other communities. These findings and recommendations are presented to community representatives. The recommendations presented in the Diagnostic Analysis may include technical assistance, training or peer-to-peer mentoring approaches, among other proven strategies. To see a sample Diagnostic Analysis, click here.

After presenting the Diagnostic Analysis to the community, the Diagnostic Center shifts to assisting with implementing the strategic recommendations outlined in the document they choose to implement. The Diagnostic Center works with communities to solidify the recommendations proposed in the Diagnostic Analysis and develop a strategy for how to implement prioritized recommendations. Throughout the Implementation Phase, the Diagnostic Center collaborates with the community to ensure that the proposed recommendations are translated into action and practice. For examples of effective evidence-based programs, visit CrimeSolutions.gov.

The Diagnostic Center's collaboration with a community concludes with the development of a customized Assessment Report to help the community measure the effectiveness of the programs and practices implemented during the engagement. Additionally, the Diagnostic Center utilizes periodic reporting and implementation monitoring to identify opportunities to refine implementation strategies to better achieve a community’s desired outcome(s). This final phase of Diagnostic Center support ensures that the community is able to collect and analyze data in order to certify that the new strategies adopted are achieving their intended outcome(s). Following this assessment, Diagnostic Center supports the impact analysis of the implemented data-driven programming and shares success stories and lessons learned with other state, local and tribal communities.