In December 2012, the Massachusetts SAC reconvened the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Agency Researchers Group (MCJARG), a collaborative research network of criminal justice practitioners. The group included representatives from executive and judicial state and local agencies, such as parole, probation, state and county corrections, sentencing commission, youth services, and state and local police. The group's mission is to: formalize a collaborative research network with various state, county, and local agency criminal justice practitioners that provides a forum where professionals interested in issues relating to data collection and reporting, research, and program evaluation can share information, foster research collaborations, and learn from others. In the December meeting, group goals were identified: expand outreach; survey members to identify priorities, topic/issues of interest, and training interests/needs; create a training plan; develop strategies to increase research capacity and conduct program evaluations; provide a bridge to the work of other Massachusetts-based researchers, groups and associations; and explore website development.
The Massachusetts SAC is working with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and the PEW Center for the States' Results First project team to implement a cost-benefit model for criminal justice programs and sentencing policy developed by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP). Utilizing the model, Massachusetts' goal is to assess the impact of a portfolio of programs and policies on criminal justice outcomes. A research team is well underway with collecting the recidivism and agency resource use data needed for model inputs.