Evaluation of the Regina Alternative Measures Program (RAMP)
Final Report – July, 2011
On July 29th, 2011 the final report of the Evaluation of the Regina Alternative Measures Program (RAMP) was released. The evaluation, initiated by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice and Attorney General (Saskatchewan Justice), was put forward to examine the procedures, processes, and impacts of the services offered, and to assess the extent to which the program is meeting its objectives.
The main objectives of the evaluation were to describe the development, implementation, and maintenance of RAMP since inception. It was used to examine the extent to which RAMP has been implemented and intended. Furthermore, to assess the impact and effectiveness of RAMP’s programming on stakeholders, the criminal justice system, and the community.
The evaluation also identifies the strengths of the program and offers recommendations to improve policies, processes, and relationships within the program.
- RAMP needs to consider cultural preferences of non-Aboriginal clients and implement a more eclectic approach for participants with other cultural backgrounds, including new Canadians. Inclusion of Elders in interventions with non-Aboriginal participants may not be appropriate.
- Specific guidelines for managing files are required to ensure that records are complete and organized. Ongoing reviews of files are required to ensure the data are being consistently and accurately recorded.
- Although the Crown is responsible for applying the referral guidelines, RAMP management should ensure their eligibility criteria are consistent with provincial policies.
- The new database introduced in April, 2011 offers RAMP an opportunity to completely overhaul the way in which client information is organized. The program should be able to clearly identify victims and offenders, which intervention they participated in, and should also enable RAMP to track offenders after the complete the program.
- RAMP may want to seek the support of Saskatchewan Justice and CPSP to meet with the Regina Prosecution District Office and find an agreeable solution to this problem.
- RAMP may wish to experiment with different approaches to encourage victim participation. The literature review provides considerable evidence that direct victim involvement is beneficial for the offender and for the victim, followed only be indirect contact (e.g., video, letter) with the victim
- RAMP’s management and board may wish to strike a balance between prescriptive and adaptive approaches to interventions rather than taking a strong position on one approach or the other.
- To measure RAMP’s success in the future, the program needs to begin capturing data in a more complete, consistent, and organized fashion. The funders could assume a role in ensuring data quality by clearly specifying their expectation that the gaps encountered in the evaluation must be addressed in the new database.
- RAMP should continue its work on engaging and educating the community. Building those relationships that support its mandate are important.
- A revised participant feedback survey should be developed based on the critique provided to RAMP. Once the questionnaire is revised, it should be used to assess the satisfaction of RAMP’s participation and to identify potential problems.
- RAMP worked with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General (evaluations branch) and developed a client satisfaction survey which every participant at RAMP completes.
- RAMP is encouraged to follow-up on the studies discusses in the literature review, many of which have taken systematic approaches to measuring recidivism, but have also attempted to gauge their success with victims.