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Existing evidence

An important aim for the Improving your Evidence project is to promote the use of existing evidence. Our survey of the Sector told us that 62% of respondents would find guidance on identifying and using existing evidence “very useful” and 74% highlighted that this was something they needed to improve.
Challenges identified included:
  • Getting access to evidence, including summaries, academic journals and unpublished evaluations
  • A lack of studies that systematically assess the learning from different evaluations and look at results achieved across different providers.


The Ministry of Justice have published a summary of evidence on reducing reoffending. It provides an overview of key evidence relating to reducing the reoffending of adult offenders and has been produced to support the work of policy makers, practitioners and other partners involved in offender management and related service provision.
The Scottish Government have commissioned a valuable summary of current evidence of what works to reduce reoffending. It includes detailed coverage of the specific needs of female offenders as well as men.
This literature review is a useful summary of the key practice skills that help reduce reoffending.
This is a summary of the evidence base for rehabilitation, drawing lessons from the US for the UK context.
NOMS have published a summary of evidence on reducing reoffending. This information is designed to inform evidence based commissioning and includes a description of each segment's offender related needs and a summary of NOMS interpretation of the evidence of what is likely, promising and not likely to reduce reoffending for that group.
NOMS have published four rapid evidence assessments on the impact of arts, mentoring, family and intimate relationships, and peer relationship interventions on intermediate outcomes and reoffending. 
We have also begun to compile existing evidence and other resources at

Arts Alliance: The Evidence Library

The Evidence Library was launched by the Arts Alliance in November 2012. It is a comprehensive high-quality resource for professionals, academics and others working in the Criminal Justice System.

Evidence Library Logo red portrait
This comprehensive body of evidence was collated by Angus McLewin from AMA consultancy. The amount of research and evaluation that has been undertaken into the arts in criminal justice is testament to the professional approach many arts charities and social enterprises are taking towards measuring their effectiveness.
This easy to use toolkit to give you access to local statistics and information on crime and reoffending, anti social behaviour, arrests by ethnicity, victims of crime, substance misuse, violence against women and girls, youth crime and hate crime.