THE GRANDE PRAIRIE PACT PROGRAM EVALUATION: DISCREPANCY BETWEEN MODEL EVALUATION PRACTICE AND CONSTRAINED REAL WORLD EVALUATION OF CRIME PREVENTION IN SMALL COMMUNITIES

Crystal Hincks, Anne Miller, Monica Pauls

Abstract


This article discusses and demonstrates the discrepancies between ideal, theoretical program evaluation processes and real world evaluation practice, which is constrained by numerous and varying factors. The article describes the real world experience of Mount Royal University’s Centre for Criminology and Justice Research researchers in conducting an evaluation of the Police and Crisis Team (PACT) in Grande Prairie, Alberta, including a Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis. PACT, which partners an Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer with a mental health professional, represents a blend of secondary and tertiary crime prevention and attempts to diminish crime in the community by addressing the risk factors of individuals with mental health concerns (creating trust with individuals, increasing awareness of resources, and decreasing stigmatization in the community). PACT also specifically targets those individuals with mental health issues who are in contact with the law to try to decrease recidivism and increase community safety. Challenges were present in the evaluation due to the time frame, staff turnover, program start-up issues, and confidentiality and sensitivity of the program focus. Despite the challenges, the CCJR team completed an evaluation including a forecast SROI, identifying several successes, challenges, and recommendations for change.

Keywords


evaluation, challenges, mental health, social programs, Alberta Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), Police and Crisis Team (PACT)

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International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies

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