1. Policy Team

1. Policy Team web_admin Tue, 12/28/2021 - 16:07

Activity 1:
Build a genuine, collaborative policy team

Collaboration in the criminal justice system seeks to overcome the limitations of traditional and non-systemic approaches to criminal justice problem solving and solution development. It brings together stakeholders to share information, develop common goals, and jointly create policies to support those goals. “Stakeholders” are defined as those who influence and have an investment in the criminal justice system’s outcomes. These systemwide stakeholder groups are referred to as policy teams.

Ideally, policy teams are comprised of the criminal justice agencies and community organizations that impact, or are impacted by, decisions that will be made by the collaborative team. The specific composition of the collaborative team varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Those with the positional power to create change within their own agencies and organizations are appropriate members of the collaborative team. The chief judge, court administrator, elected prosecutor, chief public defender and representative of the private defense bar, administrator of the community corrections agency, police chief and elected sheriff, pretrial administrator, victim advocates, local elected officials (i.e., city manager, county commissioner), service providers, and community representatives all play a part in the administration of justice and bring valuable information, resources, and perspectives to this collaborative endeavor.

Click on the documents in the navigation bar on the left for a set of activities designed to assist you in establishing a policy team and building a solid foundation for your collaborative team’s work together.

Elements of an EBDM justice system include:

  1. A highly functioning collaborative policy team;
  2. A shared vision for the criminal justice system; and
  3. A track record of meaningful team accomplishments.

1a: Conducting an EBDM Readiness Checklist

1a: Conducting an EBDM Readiness Checklist web_admin Tue, 12/28/2021 - 16:13

Introduction

Jurisdictions interested in working towards building an EBDM justice system may want to begin by assessing their readiness for undertaking such work. The EBDM Readiness Checklist is designed to establish your “baseline” for working together and to help you explore a range of team-, policy-, and practice-related elements in your system. The results of the checklist will provide an assessment of your jurisdiction’s readiness to build capacity for implementing the EBDM Framework and can be used as a foundation for moving forward with the EBDM planning process.

Purpose

To measure and facilitate a dialogue among team members on the team’s readiness to begin working on building an EBDM justice system.

Participants

All policy team members should be involved in completing and debriefing the results of the Readiness Checklist.

Instructions

The checklist is designed to serve as a catalyst for discussion on the team’s capacity and willingness to adopt the EBDM Framework. While the checklist may be administered in a variety of ways, it is critical that the results are discussed and processed by the full policy team.

Administering the Checklist

Below are several approaches a jurisdiction might take to administer the checklist. In all cases, there are two important considerations:

  • Members should be encouraged to be as honest as possible. Candor will lead to the most accurate—and therefore helpful—results.
  • Teams might consider using the services of a neutral facilitator1 to debrief the results and implications of the checklist responses. Often, a neutral facilitator can help a group objectively engage in constructive dialogue and action planning, particularly around sensitive issues.

Methods of Administration

Some of the ways that jurisdictions may consider conducting the checklist include the following:

Administer the checklist during a meeting of the full team, using transponders to collect real-time, anonymous answers from individual team members. This approach will likely result in candid feedback due to the anonymity; will provide members with the opportunity to immediately see—through the visual results the transponder system offers—areas of agreement and diversity of view; and will create a forum for dialogue about a variety of team-, policy-, and practice-related issues.

The checklist may be distributed on paper for team members to complete individually either before or during a meeting, and responses can either be aggregated and reviewed or discussed in an open forum.

The survey may also be conducted online in advance of a policy team meeting using an online survey service (e.g., Survey Monkey). The results should then be tallied and discussed during the team meeting.

Discussing Responses

Team members should discuss together the results of the checklist; it will likely surface important areas of work for the team to undertake. These areas of work can be addressed through the various documents provided in this EBDM Starter Kit. For instance, the team should discuss

  • the level of policy-level collaboration in the jurisdiction and key stakeholders’ level of commitment to future collaboration;
  • the extent to which the team has effectively engaged justice system agency staff—and community members—in discussions regarding a vision for an EBDM justice system;
  • the extent to which policymakers and agency staff have the knowledge and skills necessary to implement evidence-based decisions;
  • the breadth and depth of evidence-based practices currently in place in the jurisdiction (e.g., use of assessment tools, targeting services to criminogenic needs); and
  • policymakers’ willingness to agree upon systemwide outcomes, and the jurisdiction’s ability to collect and analyze data to measure these goals.

The checklist is not intended to provide a list of items that must be addressed prior to a team starting the EBDM process. However, the checklist does include the core activities that a team will need to engage in for the successful implementation of the EBDM Framework. Therefore, if team members express serious concerns about certain items (particularly in terms of their commitment to working together), this may indicate that the time is not right to undertake this work and/or that further foundation-building is necessary before a jurisdiction is positioned to fully adopt the Framework.

 

1 Jurisdictions might explore whether technical assistance is available for this purpose.

Download the EBDM Readiness Checklist below.

1b: Administering a Collaboration Survey

1b: Administering a Collaboration Survey web_admin Tue, 12/28/2021 - 16:54

Introduction

Research suggests that the presence of genuine collaborative relationships among members of a team is a key ingredient to the team's success in achieving its vision, mission, and goals. When specific conditions are successfully met, teams are most likely to be "highly effective." Research demonstrates that the most effective teams have eight common characteristics:

  • a clear and elevating goal;
  • a results-driven structure;
  • competent team members;
  • a unified commitment;
  • a collaborative climate;
  • standards of excellence;
  • external support and recognition; and
  • a principled leadership.

Too often groups do not take the time to assess their working relationships or consider how best to foster them to increase their likelihood of success.

Working Together: A Profile of Collaboration is a survey developed by David D. Chrislip and Carl E. Larson following extensive research on highly effective teams. The survey provides teams with a "baseline" regarding their level of collaboration. Its purpose is not to "rate" the team, but to identify the areas in which team members agree the team is strong and those areas where there is room for improvement.

Purpose

To utilize the Working Together survey to begin a conversation among team members—a conversation that can be continued in future meetings as necessary—that will surface areas of strength and those in need of improvement with regard to the level of collaboration within the team and that will result in agreements on how you can best position your team to be as effective as possible.

Participants

All policy team members should be involved in taking and debriefing the results of the Working Together survey.

Instructions

Conducting the Survey

  • Distribute the survey to policy team members and ask them to complete it individually. The survey may be completed on paper during a policy team meeting or prior to a meeting using an online survey method such as Survey Monkey.
  • The survey instrument can be downloaded here1.
  • If the survey is administered during a policy team meeting, the results can be tallied immediately so that the team can discuss them. Alternatively, if the survey is distributed ahead of time, the results should be tallied and then reviewed at the meeting.
  • For each question, consider including the following: total number of responses (N), minimum score, maximum score, mean, range, and the number of team members who indicated that they could not answer the question because the team was "too new" and therefore the question did not apply.

Scoring and Interpreting the Survey

N is the number of respondents who answered the question.

The minimum and maximum reflects the lowest and highest answers for the question and are used to calculate the range of scores.

The mean is the average of all the respondents' scores.

Lower mean scores (closer to 1) reflect a greater percentage of "mostly true" or "true" answers.

Higher mean scores (closer to 4) reflect a greater percentage of "mostly false" or "false" answers.

The range is calculated by subtracting the minimum score from the maximum score. The range reflects the variance in respondents' answers. The higher the range the lower the level of agreement between respondents; the lower the range the higher the level of agreement between respondents.

The column Too New to Answer reflects the number of respondents who felt they could not answer the question because the team had only recently begun working together.

Processing the Survey

Share a copy of the teams' Working Together survey results with the entire policy team.

Ask team members to discuss the results of the survey and identify the areas where the greatest strength is noted. A lower mean score (closer to 1) reflects a greater percentage of "True" or "Mostly True" answers (i.e., strengths).

Note these on a flip chart and use this as an opportunity to affirm the team regarding its strengths. Remind them that strengths should be drawn upon to address areas in need of improvement.

Next, ask team members to identify the areas where there seems to be the greatest opportunity for improvement. A higher mean score (closer to 4) reflects a greater percentage of "False" or "Mostly False" answers (i.e., areas in need of improvement).

Note these on the flip chart and take some time to process with the team areas in need of improvement. Do they reflect the fact that the team is new to working together? Do they reflect difficulties that have occurred in the past? Is it advisable to devote some future team time to identifying ways to specifically strengthen the team in these areas?

Challenges in collaboration that need to be addressed should be noted so that they are considered for inclusion in the team's action plan.2

Following Up

Re-administer the survey at future intervals (every six months is recommended for new teams) to determine changes in members' perceptions of the team's level of collaboration and to identify future action items.

1 An online version of the tool can be found at http://starterkit.ebdmoneless.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/EBDM-Policy-Team-Collaboration-Survey.pdf.

2 See 1l: Developing an Action Plan for your Policy Team.

1c: Creating a Vision for Your Policy Team

1c: Creating a Vision for Your Policy Team web_admin Wed, 12/29/2021 - 09:49

Introduction

Clarity of outcome is critical to the success of any team. A fundamental starting place for a system of evidence-based decision making is agreement among key policymakers regarding their overarching purpose—or vision—for the justice system. It will likely take time and hard work to develop a vision for your team, and that vision may change over time. Nonetheless, it will be your vision that:

  • inspires your team to come to meetings when the press of other business grows strong;
  • guides your policy team's course of action; and
  • helps secure the support for change from your colleagues and community.

Definition of a "Vision"
A vision is a statement that paints a picture of the future that you hope to create (i.e., a statement of your preferred future). It captures your hopes of what will result from your team's efforts. It represents a future for which your policy team is willing to take responsibility for attempting to achieve.

Purpose

To facilitate a dialogue among team members that will result in a statement reflecting the vision for the justice system in your community

Participants

All policy team members should be involved in the development of your vision statement.

Instructions

  • Consider the following questions:
    1. If the criminal justice system in our jurisdiction were working ideally, what would be its characteristics?
    2. What results would it achieve?
    3. What values would guide how these goals are achieved?
  • Team members should take a few minutes to jot down their ideas about each of these questions. When they are finished, go around the room and record each person's first response on a flip chart. Go around the room again and note each person's second response. Continue this process until all ideas are recorded for for all three questions.
  • Review the ideas generated. Discuss each one and ensure that its meaning is clear. Eliminate duplications. To answer each question, develop a statement or set of statements that reflects the consensus of the team.
  • If multiple statements are produced, prioritize these by asking each member to rank order the statements, then tally the "votes" for each statement. Select the portions of the prioritized statements that resonate with team members.
  • From these, craft a single vision statement that reflects all of the agreed-upon ideas and comments.
  • This process may take some time; you may not be able to complete this work in one session or even as a full team. Often it is useful to form a subcommittee to craft a proposed vision statement based on the concepts/statements developed by the full team.

Tips

  • Remember that your vision statement should be energizing and inspiring and, when completed, describe your hopes for the future.
  • Avoid getting hung up on your current situation, limitations, or tasks needed to reach your vision. The vision statement is about where you want to go and why.
  • Make the creation of your vision statement an integral part of your early work together.
  • Resist the urge to "just get it done."
  • Keep it simple. Your vision statement should be easy to explain and easily understood by non-team members. Avoid jargon.
  • Keep it short. The details belong in your mission statement and goals.
  • Work on your vision statement until it truly represents the hopes of everyone on the team. It should be a powerful and compelling statement.
  • Use the vision statement as a touchstone for your ongoing efforts. Once it is completed, display your statement during each meeting.
  • Revisit your vision statement from time to time, and change it as your work together evolves.

1 Language adapted from Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM), 2007.


 

Example:
Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Vision and Mission

Our community vision is for greater accountability
in the criminal justice system
and better stewardship
of criminal justice resources.

By applying what the evidence tells us about what actually works in protecting the community and holding offenders accountable, Milwaukee County's criminal justice system will make the smartest possible use of its limited resources, continuously improving its performance against quantifiable goals and reinvesting the savings in programs that reduce crime in the first place.

When it comes to crime and punishment, we recognize that certain practices and traditions hold an intuitive appeal, but we are determined to judge everything we do in light of what solid research and objective evidence demonstrate to be potent and cost-effective. We also recognize that our efforts will be fruitless unless they are collaborative; the partners in this process pledge not merely their cooperation, but stand for the success of each other in achieving these ambitions.

Additional Resources/Readings

Center for Effective Public Policy (CEPP). (2005). A clear and elevating goal (vision).
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Teamwork-Exercise-Developing-a-Clear-and-Elevating-Goal-VISION.pdf.

Center for Effective Public Policy (CEPP). (2005). Collaboration: A training curriculum to enhance the effectiveness of criminal justice teams.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Collaboration-A-Training-Curriculum-to-Enhance-the-Effectiveness-of-Criminal-Justice-Teams-2005.pdf.

National Institute of Corrections (NIC). (2006). Getting it right: Collaborative problem solving for criminal justice.
Retrieved from https://nicic.gov/getting-it-right-collaborative-problem-solving-crimina...

Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM). (2007). Enhancing the management of adult and juvenile sex offenders: A handbook for policymakers and practitioners.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/6-CSOM-Handbook.pdf.

1d: Conducting a Stakeholder Analysis

1d: Conducting a Stakeholder Analysis web_admin Wed, 12/29/2021 - 10:09

Introduction

Through the process of working to become an evidence-based decision making criminal justice system, your team will develop a comprehensive understanding of your current criminal justice system and a vision of what that system could look like in the future. Without complete representation of the justice system’s stakeholders on your team, you will be unlikely to develop a complete understanding of your criminal justice system or implement changes for advancement. Therefore, it is vital that your team include all key stakeholders as early in the process as possible. In other words, to implement meaningful changes, you must have at the table from the outset all those who might be involved in the potential changes your team will identify. In most cases, the choice of policy team members will be obvious and will include, at a minimum

  • law enforcement officers;
  • pretrial officials;
  • victim advocates;
  • prosecutors;
  • defense attorneys;
  • jail administrators;
  • court administrators;
  • judges;
  • community supervision officers; and
  • city/county administrators.

Many others may also be part of your team, for example, human services professionals, treatment providers, state legislators, citizen representatives, and members of the faith community.

Purpose

To help your team consider all of the individuals who have a stake in the outcomes you seek to achieve and ensure that they are included in your efforts

Participants

All policy team members should be involved in analyzing stakeholders to be included on your team.

Instructions[1]

A chart is attached to assist the team in recording their responses to Steps 1 through 5.

Engaging the Defense Bar

While it may be relatively easy to determine which critical players should be added to your team, the challenge is devising a strategy to bring them on board. In one county, the chair of the policy team worked tenaciously to engage the private defense bar in the effort.

The chair reached out to them through multiple calls, made a point to answer any questions they had (and put in their hands relevant research), and changed the time of policy team meetings to lunchtime in order to accommodate their schedules. The defense bar began to participate in different aspects of the work, including attending training events, participating in meetings to map the current system, and joining work groups on pretrial, plea, and sentencing issues to ensure their perspectives were considered.

Through this multipronged and deliberate strategy, the chair was successful in bringing the defense bar onto the policy team to learn about EBDM alongside the other partners.

  1. Brainstorm a list of all agencies, organizations, and individuals that have a “stake” in criminal justice decision making in your jurisdiction.
  2. Organize the list in a logical fashion (e.g., group together those with influence over particular decisions, such as arrest, pretrial, community interventions, etc.).
  3. Review the list. Identify those stakeholders already on your team and those that are missing.
  4. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of including the individuals or agencies on your list. What can they add to the team? What are the possible consequences if they are not involved?
  5. For each identified stakeholder, determine a possible representative, considering the following questions:
    • Does the team need policy-level representation, front-line staff, or both to help advance evidence-based decision making?
    • Is there a particular person who is uniquely able to serve as a liaison between their constituency group and your collaborative team?
    • Who can provide a unique perspective on your work, enhancing it with new ideas or insights?
  6. Discuss strategies for adding new members to the team, and create a work plan to carry out these strategies.

Tips

  • Invariably, you will overlook someone along the way. Remain flexible and bring others onto your team as you move forward and as you deem it appropriate.
  • If the team is already sufficient in size, consider adding others the team feels strongly about—such as citizens, community members, and other non-criminal justice representatives—to subcommittees and working groups. This has the advantage of including others and gaining their input in structured ways, while not expanding the policy team to an unworkably large number.
  • Typically, the team will develop a lengthy list of possible team members through this analysis. The trick is to carefully select members to ensure that the team is not overly large or unworkable. Remember to consider two key factors when selecting team members: (1) their power and influence with their peers and the larger community; and (2) their openness to ideas and to new ways of looking at old problems.

Example:
EBDM Talking Points Used in One Jurisdiction

After conducting a stakeholder analysis, one jurisdiction decided to approach the local police chief in an attempt to solicit his participation in the initiative. The following are some talking points that the team chair used in his meeting.

  • What is the EBDM project?
    • The campaign is focused on “One less offender. One less crime. One less victim.”
    • The focus is on harm reduction goals, i.e., reduced victimization and increased public safety and community wellness.
    • Leadership and courage are required.
    • The campaign involves developing a set of goals common to the entire system in order to achieve greater outcomes.
    • The work is focused on three areas of importance:
      1. collaboration across agencies;
      2. implementation of EBP and best practices; and
      3. organizational development and enhancement of agency performance.
    • It is based on the assumption that implementing research and best practices systemwide will achieve greater results, such as fewer crimes, reduced erosion of property values, less money spent on criminal justice, increased sense of safety, less financial loss by victims, and greater confidence of citizens in the criminal justice system.
    • Law enforcement is a critical part of the system; the campaign can’t be as successful without its involvement.
    • Data can be used to determine “hot spots” where law enforcement intervention is most needed.
    • An actuarial tool, such as a brief screening instrument, can be used to inform cite versus detain decisions.
    • Law enforcement can serve as role models by attending offender graduation programs and affirming progress.
    • Law enforcement can participate, as guest speakers, in behavioral change programs.
    • Social learning training (e.g., role modeling, fairness, respect) can be integrated into arrest practices.
    • There would be greater cooperation with other parts of the criminal justice system.
    • Law enforcement can assist in developing a countywide vision for the criminal justice system.
    • What project goals/benefits are specific to law enforcement?

Additional Resources/Readings

Center for Effective Public Policy (CEPP). (2006). Getting it right: Collaborative problem solving for criminal justice.
Retrieved from https://nicic.gov/getting-it-right-collaborative-problem-solving-crimina...

Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM). (2007). Enhancing the management of adult and juvenile sex offenders: A handbook for policymakers and practitioners.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/6-CSOM-Handbook.pdf

Appendix:
Stakeholder Analysis Template

Stakeholder Analysis Template


[1] Adapted from the Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM), 2007. (Teamwork Exercise 1) https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/6-CSOM-Handbook.pdf.

1e: Establishing Team Leadership

1e: Establishing Team Leadership web_admin Wed, 12/29/2021 - 10:26

Introduction

Successful justice system collaboration depends on effective leadership. While much has been written about the composition of a collaborative team and its role as a whole in carrying out the mutually established vision, mission, and goals for criminal justice system improvements in a local community, there has been less emphasis on the leadership of these teams. And yet, the critical role of the team leader is undeniable. Indeed, when Carl Larson and Frank LaFasto (1989) studied the work of groups from fields as diverse as business, sports, community development, and public health in order to determine what makes teams succeed, the presence of leadership was among the most important characteristics of effective teams.

Collaborative leadership is different from management leadership of an agency. We typically think of leadership in the context of managing an agency. In the criminal justice world, the jail administrator, chief judge, director of a public defender’s office, elected prosecutor, community corrections director or probation chief, sheriff, and human services director are the positional or hierarchical leaders. They manage agencies that provide key functions in the justice system. However, qualities long associated with top management of an agency (e.g., being fair, efficient, consistent) are not necessarily the same qualities needed to lead a collaborative team.

Common qualities of effective collaborative leaders include the following:[1]

Defining Collaborative Leadership

In their work Collaborative Leadership, David Chrislip and Carl Larson describe collaborative leadership in the following way:

“[Positional] leaders are those who articulate a vision, inspire people to act, and focus on concrete problems and results. [But] collaboration needs a different kind of leadership; it needs leaders who can safeguard the process, facilitate interaction, and patiently deal with high levels of frustration. Collaboration works when…leaders…keep the process going.”
–Chrislip & Larson, 1994, p. 42.

  • Willing to take risks. Great leaders are dissatisfied with the status quo and “business as usual.” They are willing to take risks because they understand that the benefits of success outweigh the setbacks that may be encountered on the way.
  • Eager listeners. Collaborative leaders are open to all viewpoints; they seek input of all kinds and from all places. It shapes their thinking, and they expect that fresh ideas and varying points of view will have a similar impact on other members of the EBDM team.
  • Passionate. One of the most important characteristics of a collaborative leader is a highly visible passion for the cause. As Larson and LaFasto wrote, “Their visions or intentions are compelling and pull people toward them. Intensity coupled with commitment is magnetic.”[2]
  • Optimistic. Great leaders are effective, at least in part, because of their attitude. They believe in the possible, and they encourage that optimism among all members of the policy team as well as among the managers and staff of the criminal justice agencies that will implement evidence-based improvements in policy and practice.
  • Able to share knowledge, power, and credit. Effective leaders are not concerned with garnering individual recognition for their work; instead, they choose to acknowledge the achievements of others and emphasize the success of the group over the success of specific individuals.
  • Garner the respect and trust of team members and have no hidden agendas.
  • Have adequate time to serve as the collaborative leader of the policy team and complete the required tasks of team chair.

In addition, effective leaders possess an important skill set that serves to facilitate and support the collaborative process. Common skills of effective collaborative leaders include the following:[3]

  • Political and substantive knowledge and skills. Effective leaders have sufficient expertise to a) assist with the identification of the key officials who will serve on the team, b) ensure that the vision, mission, and goals of the group are clearly defined, c) negotiate relationships and sensitive issues, and d) secure external support for the team’s work.

Specific actions leaders may take towards these ends include

  1. ensuring that the team is balanced in membership and includes all those who have a vested interest in the outcome of the work, whether they are initially on board or not.
  2. taking the initiative to expand their substantive knowledge of evidence-based practice literature so that they are able to guide and support the team’s work. While leaders may appropriately defer to the expertise of team members, they do not neglect their need to be knowledgeable.
  3. developing a keen understanding of the interests at stake—those who support the team’s vision, mission, and goals, and those who don’t and why—and devising strategies to advocate for and garner cooperation and resources from outside of the team.
  • Interpersonal knowledge and skills: Good leaders have the ability to work effectively with others. Key skill areas are consensus building, conflict management, the ability to build trust, and the ability to “read” individuals’ needs and to manage their strengths. Specific actions include:
    1. communicating their personal belief in the power of the collaborative process;
    2. communicating their personal commitment to the team and its work;
    3. demonstrating respect for the team as a whole and for its individual members;
    4. modeling the standards for individual and group interaction and behavior;
    5. consistently following through with commitments;
    6. sharing control of the team process, decision-making, and work;
    7. identifying the unique contributions of each team member and drawing upon these routinely;
    8. seizing the opportunity of conflict to surface and resolve hidden disagreements;
    9. developing and encouraging leadership qualities in other team members; and
    10. sharing opportunities to demonstrate leadership.
  • Process knowledge and skills: Effective leaders are also skilled in collaborative team management. This involves the ability to organize the team’s work activities and discussions, design and manage meeting agendas, and define work processes that will accomplish the team’s goals. Leaders demonstrate these abilities by
    1. focusing attention on both the team’s substantive work and its work processes;
    2. helping the team be clear about its shared vision, mission, and goals, and routinely revisiting these to maintain focus;
    3. conducting productive, goal-oriented meetings that start and end on time—using every meeting as an opportunity for meaningful exchange;
    4. helping the group understand the work processes of the “EBDM roadmap” and the strategic planning steps;
    5. ensuring group discussions stay on track—guiding the group toward consensus and action after full and appropriate discussion of issues;
    6. ensuring regular participation from all group members—drawing out less vocal members, balancing the contributions of more vocal members, encouraging diversity of opinion, and following up immediately on members’ absences from meetings; and
    7. ensuring that the team develops, monitors, and updates a specific work plan that is tied to its EBDM vision, mission, goals, and systemwide logic model and to the scorecard that defines the jurisdiction’s overall harm reduction goals.

Purpose

The purpose of this Starter Kit is to help teams identify the individuals who are best suited to assume responsibility for leadership of the teams by describing the common qualities and skills of effective team leaders and by guiding teams through an open and candid discussion that will result in consensus-based determination about who will fill the leadership role.

Participants

All policy team members should be involved in this discussion and the resulting decision.

Instructions

  1. Review the qualities and skills of collaborative leaders contained in this document.
  2. Discuss each key point and determine whether the group agrees that each quality/skill is an important attribute of your team’s leader. Make a list of the qualities that the group agrees upon.
  3. From this list, identify the skills/qualities the group deems most important.
  4. Identify the individual(s) who best fit these attributes. If there are several candidates, discuss the pros of each and form a consensus decision.

Tips

The following are some effective meeting techniques for EBDM policy team chairs:

  • Stay neutral.
  • Listen actively.
  • Ask questions for clarification. (“I’m not sure I understood what you just said. Can you say more about that?”)
  • Ask for examples.
  • Paraphrase. (“Let me make sure I got that right.”)
  • Synthesize ideas.
  • Stay on track.
  • Give and receive feedback.
  • Summarize or ask for summary. (“Can someone summarize what we just agreed upon?”)
  • Ask for feelings and opinions. (“John, how do you react to this?”)
  • Encourage participation. (“Before we go on, I’d like to hear from Elena.”)
  • Test for consensus. (“Before we move, let me check to make sure we are all in agreement.”)
  • Do a quick survey. (“Let’s go around the room and have everyone indicate whether or not they support this.”)
  • Initiate action. (“How would you suggest we proceed on this?”)
  • Explore an idea in more detail. (“In what other ways could we approach this problem?”)
  • Suggest a break.
  • Suggest a procedure. (“Would it help if we developed criteria to decide this issue?”)
  • Stop the action. (“Let’s stop the discussion for a moment and go back to where we started.”)
  • Reflect. (“Darius, I get the impression you have concerns about this.”)
  • Be supportive. (“Let’s give Mary a chance to explain her position before we comment.”)
  • Question and test assumptions. (“Your proposal assumes that we are not doing it correctly now. Is that right?”)
  • Check targets. (“Are we asking the right questions?”)
  • Confront differences. (“Jim, I am getting the impression you do not like the way this is going. Tell us what you are thinking.”)

Additional Resources/Readings

Carter, M. M. (2006). The importance of collaborative leadership in achieving effective criminal justice outcomes (text rev.).
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/6-The-Importance-of-Collaborative-Leadership.pdf

Chrislip, D. D., & Larson, C. E. (1994). Collaborative leadership: How citizens and civic leaders can make a difference. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Larson, C. E., & LaFasto, F. M. J. (1989). Teamwork: What must go right/what can go wrong. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.


[1] Carter, 2006.

[2] Larson & LaFasto, 1989.

[3] Carter, 2006.

1f: Setting Ground Rules

1f: Setting Ground Rules web_admin Wed, 12/29/2021 - 10:39

Introduction

Establishing ground rules[1] for how a team will work together is an essential step that teams should take before embarking on any collaborative endeavor. Developing ground rules sets an important foundation for how the team is expected to work together in order to accomplish its goals and serves as a reminder of the values the team intends to uphold.

Purpose

  • To help your team consider ground rules that might help you work collaboratively and remain focused on your work
  • To assist you in reaching consensus on the ground rules that will guide your work together
Sample Ground Rules
  • One person speaks at a time.
  • No side conversations are permitted.
  • No cheap shots are allowed.
  • War stories are limited.
  • The group works toward consensus.
  • Parochial interests are left at home.
  • A problem solving orientation is adopted.
  • Group members hold each other accountable.

(CEPP, 2006)

Participants

All policy team members should be involved in the development of your team’s ground rules.

Instructions

  1. Begin by asking each team member to consider the expectations they have of one another throughout this process. Have them jot down these ideas on a sheet of paper.[2]
  2. Using a round-robin approach, ask each participant to share one item on their list. Note these on a flip chart. Go around as many times as necessary until all items are recorded.
  3. Combine and clarify the suggestions.
  4. Discuss whether the suggested ground rules are
    • comprehensive—are any ground rules missing?
    • agreeable—do all team members consent to abide by these rules?
  5. Arrive at a consensus on the set of ground rules you will use to govern your work.
  6. Document your ground rules so that you have a written record.
  7. Consider laminating and posting these rules in your regular team meeting room. Review them before each meeting. Team members will then have a constant reminder of the rules under which the team agreed to operate.
  8. Periodically review the ground rules to ensure that they are still relevant to the team’s work and agreeable to all members (especially if new team members are added). Add new rules as a team, if the need arises.

Tips

Ground Rules in Action

In Ramsey County, Minnesota, the team decided to display a laminated poster of their ground rules during all policy team meetings. They referred to the rules periodically to ensure that all members were clear about the expectations for conduct.

In Grant County, Indiana, ground rules were referred to during key strategic planning sessions, particularly when the team was preparing to make critical decisions about the change targets they wanted to pursue.

When setting ground rules, consider the following questions:

  • Have you set an expectation for how much each team member is expected to contribute?
    • Who will be responsible for work products, doing “homework” between meetings?
    • Will members of the team hold each other accountable for completing assignments?
    • Will members be expected to attend all policy meetings? When is missing a meeting acceptable?
    • Will the use of proxies or designees be allowed?
  • Is there an expectation about how group decisions will be made?
    • Will decisions be made by consensus or majority vote?
    • What level of evidence or support will be needed to make a decision?
  • Is there clarity around how members will conduct themselves during team meetings?
    • Are members asked to refrain from sharing personal war stories?
    • How will team members deal with confrontation?
    • How do team members define “respect”?
  • How will information sharing and confidentiality be addressed?
    • What kinds of information will be shared with non-team members?
    • When will information be kept confidential within the policy team?
    • How will team members handle questions from the press?

Some other tips for creating ground rules include the following:

  • Foster a culture of honesty. Suggest that it is as dishonest for group members to “put up with” something they don't agree with, or can't live with, as it is to speak untruthfully.
  • Practice listening. Every voice deserves to be heard, even if people don't initially agree with the point of view being expressed.
  • Recognize the need for full participation. This includes both encouraging team members not to hold back and valuing the opinions of others.[3]
  • Everyone needs to take a fair share of the group work. This does not mean that everyone has to do the same thing. It is best when members of the group agree on how tasks will be allocated.
  • Remember that everyone brings different strengths. The work of a group can be achieved efficiently when tasks are allocated according to the experience and expertise of each member.
  • Cultivate philanthropy. Group work sometimes requires people to make personal needs and wishes subordinate to the goal of the group. This is all the more valuable when other group members recognize that this is happening.

Example:
Grant County, Indiana, Policy Team Ground Rules

The following ground rules and operating norms have been established, and team members have agreed to hold each other accountable for adherence to these rules and norms:

  • Decision-maker attendance is expected.
  • Be on time and prepared for meetings.
  • All opinions are valued. Critique the opinion, not the person.
  • Be candid but respectful.
  • Team decisions will be made by consensus while preserving the autonomy of individual office holders and department heads.
  • Membership may evolve and sub-committees may include non-members.
  • New members will only be added by consensus.
  • Members will consider data and unintended consequences when making decisions.

Example:
Mesa County, Colorado, Policy Team Ground Rules

  1. Agree on what we agree on.
  2. No one has veto power.
  3. No one vehemently opposes a decision; everyone has to be able to live with it.
  4. We have each others’ backs.
  5. Leave personal agendas at the door.
  6. Trust issues
    1. No personal details are shared, no one is critical about emotions, and storytelling is not allowed.
    2. Be clear about the purpose of information shared.
    3. Share only information meant to promote the purpose of this group.

Additional Resources/Readings

Center for Effective Public Policy (CEPP). (2005). Teamwork exercise: Developing ground rules.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Teamwork-Exercise-Discussion-of-Roles-and-Responsibilities.pdf

Center for Effective Public Policy (CEPP). (2005). Ten tips for effective team participation.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Signs-of-Effective-Meetings.pdf

Center for Effective Public Policy (CEPP). (2006). Getting it right: Collaborative problem solving for criminal justice. Retrieved from https://nicic.gov/getting-it-right-collaborative-problem-solving-crimina...

 


[1] Language adapted from Center for Effective Public Policy (CEPP), 2005.

[2] For more information on team member expectations, see 1g: Building a Collaborative Climate.

[3] From John’s Hopkins University: https://pages.jh.edu/virtlab/misc/Group_Rules.htm

1g: Building a Collaborative Climate

1g: Building a Collaborative Climate web_admin Wed, 12/29/2021 - 10:46

Introduction

One of the eight characteristics of highly effective teams is that they operate within the context of a “collaborative climate.”[1] A collaborative climate is built upon a foundation of trust among members. Trust promotes efficient communication and coordination and allows team members to stay solution-focused, thereby improving outcomes. Trust is earned, over time, when the following conditions are true:

  • Honesty: Members operate with integrity and are truthful.
  • Openness: Members are willing to share and be receptive to new ideas.
  • Consistency: Members are predictable in their behaviors and responses.
  • Respect: Members treat others with dignity and fairness.

Purpose

Too often groups do not take the time to assess their working relationships or to consider how best to foster these relationships to increase their likelihood of success. The purpose of this document is to encourage teams to pay as much attention to this aspect of their work as they do to understanding evidence-based practice and decision making, and to put as much care into building and sustaining the team as they do in planning and implementing change initiatives.

Participants

All policy team members should be actively engaged in the process of building and sustaining a collaborative climate. However, it might be useful to identify a few team members who are particularly attuned to these kinds of issues to make regular observations of the team’s collaborative climate and to elicit feedback from members on how well the team is working together.

Instructions

Identify “Temperature Takers” to Monitor the Collaborative Climate

While it is clearly the responsibility of every member of the team to contribute to and thereby build a collaborative climate, some individuals are keenly adept at assessing climate and at recognizing and seizing opportunities to improve teamwork, while others may not be as strong in this area. Simply stated, some people almost instinctively notice when things are going well and when the collaborative climate is faltering. This may be reason to specifically identify one or more team members to monitor the collaborative climate, to initiate dialogue about how well the team is working together, and to identify and facilitate activities that are likely to promote trust and support a positive, collaborative climate.

Utilize Tools and Strategies for Monitoring the Climate

There are a variety of methods of assessing the level of collaboration among team members.

  1. The survey Working Together: A Profile of Collaboration is one method of objectively assessing members’ perceptions of how well the team is working together.[2] The initial administration of this survey will establish a baseline of data around the team’s functioning. Re-administer the survey periodically (e.g., every six months) to identify improvements or new challenge areas.
  2. Periodically review the team’s ground rules to discuss how well members are adhering to them.
  3. Provide team members with a list of expectations of their participation.[3]
  4. Consider asking team members to periodically assess themselves with respect to these expectations, to report back to the group the strength they believe they most consistently bring to the team and the one they most need to work on, or to ask team members to provide one another feedback on some or all of the individual expectations on the list.
  5. Periodically include an item on the team agenda that provides for an open dialogue about the team’s effectiveness working together.
  6. Alternatively, reserve time at the end of a team meeting to pose a set of structured questions such as the following. These questions can be answered anonymously (each member can write their responses (yes/no) on a sheet of paper and these can be collected and tallied) or members can provide their responses in an open forum.
    1. Generally speaking, are our meetings productive and helping us work towards our vision/mission?
    2. Do we work from agendas that provide structure and purpose to our meetings?
    3. Do all members actively participate in our meetings?
    4. Is there a sufficient level of trust among group members to allow for candid discussion?
    5. Are all members respectful, even when their perspectives or opinions differ?
    6. Do members feel “heard” when they share their views?
    7. Are all members equally committed to the vision/mission?
    8. Are all members equally contributing to the work of the team?
    9. Do members believe we can accomplish something together that we could not accomplish separately?
    10. Do members feel that the team is “in this together,” even when things become difficult?
    11. What can we be doing to further strengthen our team?
    12. Solicit the assistance of an outside, neutral individual to interview team members about how well the team is functioning, then report that information back to the group as a whole for consideration and action planning, where needed.

Additional Resources/Readings

Carter, M. (2005). Collaboration: A training curriculum to enhance the effectiveness of criminal justice teams. Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/1-Collaboration-Curriculum.pdf

CEPP (2005). Collaborative Justice. Website. https://cepp.com/collaborative-justice/

Chrislip, D. D., & Larson, C. E. (1994). Collaborative leadership: How citizens and civic leaders can make a difference. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Larson, C. E., & LaFasto, F. M. J. (1989). Teamwork: What must go right/what can go wrong. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Appendix:
Ten Tips for Effective Team Participation[4]

One of the hallmarks of a collaborative team is that every team member is equally important and the contribution of each member is necessary to the success of the team. These are some of the ways that individual team members can contribute to effective collaboration:

  1. Show up on time, turn your cell phone or pager to vibrate, and respond only to emergencies. Give the group your full attention.
  2. Show up consistently. When team members make an effort to be present, others understand that as a demonstration of commitment and are therefore more willing to make the commitment themselves.
  3. Adhere to whatever ground rules or standards are established by the group. If none are articulated, set your own standards high. Better yet, suggest that the group establish ground rules and standards.
  4. Be prepared and participate. If there is a group assignment (such as reading a report) or if you agree to perform a specific task for the group, do it. Take advantage of process activities to get to know other members of the team.
  5. Be aware of your body language. Don’t let your posture or facial expressions communicate a lack of interest or lack of respect for another team member’s contributions. Instead, listen actively and make an effort to understand what others are trying to say before responding.
  6. Stay focused on the vision and mission of the team. Leave personal agendas aside.
  7. Practice good conflict resolution skills. Conflict, dissent, and disagreement are essential to effective problem solving. Look for ways to use the information that comes out of conflict to improve the work you are doing together.
  8. Look for opportunities to exercise leadership.
  9. Challenge yourself. If you are typically one who dominates conversations, sit back and listen. If you are typically reluctant to share your ideas, try to speak up.
  10. Be willing to be held accountable. And be willing to hold others accountable. Holding each other accountable is a sign of respect and it demonstrates that group members have high expectations of each other.

These basic practices are fundamental to all kinds of group work, but are especially important when working in collaboration with others. Successful collaboration requires trust, and these practices help to build a climate of trust so that effective collaborative work can take place.


[1] The eight characteristics of highly effective teams identified by Larson and LaFasto (1989) are: a clear and elevating goal, a results-driven structure, competent team members, a unified commitment, a collaborative climate, standards of excellence, external support and recognition, and principled leadership.

[2] For more on the Working Together survey, see 1b: Administering a Collaboration Survey.

[3] For some ideas, see the Appendix.

[4] From https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Signs-of-Effective-Meetings.pdf.

1h: Establishing a Decision Making Process

1h: Establishing a Decision Making Process web_admin Wed, 12/29/2021 - 10:51

Introduction

Agreeing to a decision making process is one of the first steps of a successful policy team. Decisions may be made by consensus, majority vote, or some other way. While consensus decision making is often the ideal method, it is easier said than done.

Consider that “consensus is not compromise, nor abdication, nor winning so that others lose. Rather, consensus is an agreement with others that may not be an ideal solution, but is a result that all can ‘live with.’”[1]

Purpose

To facilitate a dialogue among team members that will result in a process for team decision making.

Participants

All policy team members should be involved in establishing a decision making process for the team.

Instructions

  1. Have a discussion about how the team will make decisions before or while your team decides on its ground rules and operating norms.[2]
  2. Begin by asking your team members to think about how they would like group decisions to be made. Discuss the following questions:
    1. Will team members agree that decisions should be made by consensus (rather than by the group chair or by majority vote)?
    2. Will all—or only certain types of—decisions be made in this way?
    3. If consensus cannot be reached, what process will the team follow? (See below for a way to make non-consensus decisions.)
    4. What level of evidence or support will the team need to make a decision?
    5. What will happen when team members are absent from a meeting? Will decisions be made or held until all members are present?
  3. Once agreement is made on the issues above, designate someone to record the agreed-upon decision making guidelines. These should be included in your policy team’s charter, along with your team’s ground rules.

Possible Process for Making Non-Consensus Decisions

When consensus is not possible, your team may agree to a voting process. For example, policy team members might vote using their thumbs (or some other signal the team agrees to) to indicate

  • “I fully and completely support this decision” (thumbs up);
  • “I do not fully and completely support this decision (i.e., there are some things about it I would prefer were different) but I can live with it” (thumbs horizontal); or
  • “I cannot support this decision” (thumbs down).

The team can move forward with a decision as long as there are no “thumbs down’s.” That is, everyone on the team must completely support the decision or agree to “live with it” in order for the decision to be made.

In cases where one or more team member cannot support the decision (thumbs down), engage those team members in a dialogue about what the team would have to do in order to create a situation where everyone could live with the decision.

Tips

Consider the following tips when working with your team to come to agreement or to make a decision:

  • There may be some instances where different decision making methods are used. Ensure that team members are aware of the decision making “mode” prior to entering into discussions about decisions.
  • In order to arrive more quickly at consensus, use facts and information—not opinions or beliefs—as the basis of conversation. An alternative approach is to provide an allotted amount of time for team members to express opinions and beliefs; when time is up, restrict the discussion to factual information.
  • Recognize the difference between disagreement and conflict. Disagreements are healthy; they force the group to consider different options and select the best course of action. Disagreements turn to conflict when team members get emotionally attached to issues or positions, sometimes resulting in personal attacks on other team members. Encourage your team to “stay professional” by keeping their comments and criticisms focused on work items and processes, not the persons involved.[3]

Example:
Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, Decision Making Guidelines

The policy team has agreed on the following guidelines for decision making:

  • All members have equal status for the purposes of input and decision making.
  • Team members are allowed to send a designee if they are unable to attend a scheduled meeting. Communication of this must be made in writing to the chair prior to the scheduled meeting date.
  • Decisions will be reached by consensus whenever possible and team members will use the consensus decision rule:
    • I am at least 70% comfortable with or in favor of the decision, and I will be 100% committed to it.
    • I am 60% comfortable with the decision, but still have reservations and need more information. I am responsible for finding the information I need.
    • I am less than 50% comfortable with the decision. I am responsible for presenting an alternative solution.
  • Even though the EBDM policy team has no legal authority to force any changes in the criminal justice system at any of its points, justice stakeholders impliedly agree and consent that they will give great deference to a consensus decision of the entire EBDM policy team. Although individual justice stakeholders still retain their statutory and constitutional prerogative to exercise their discretion, they impliedly agree that if they decline to consider or implement a recommended practice or procedure, they will articulate clear and specific reasons explaining why, in good conscience, they will not consider or implement the consensus decision.

Example:
Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Decision Making Guidelines

All members have equal status for the purposes of input and decision making.

Whenever possible, decisions will be reached by consensus, whether members are present at a scheduled meeting or not. If consensus cannot be reached, decisions shall be made as follows:

  • A proponent of the decision shall make a motion which shall be stated in a meeting agenda issued at least three business days in advance of a meeting.
  • The motion may be put to a vote at the meeting if a quorum is present; a quorum shall consist of at least eight members of the policy team.
  • A motion shall carry if a majority of the policy team members present at the meeting vote in favor.

Decisions of the policy team are subject to legal limitations on the authority of any agency with a representative on the policy team. However, a decision of the policy team binds the representative to make a good faith effort to use their authority to implement the decision or persuade their agency to authorize the necessary action or seek the necessary authority.

Additional Resources/Readings

CEPP. (2006). The role of facilitators and staff in supporting collaborative teams.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/The-Role-of-Facilitators-and-Staff-in-Supporting-Collaborative-Teams.pdf.

CEPP. (2010). Coaching packet: Establishing a rational planning process.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Establishing-a-Rational-Planning-Process.pdf

Woodward, B. (1993). Establishing and maintaining the policy team. In National Institute of Corrections, The intermediate sanctions handbook: Experiences and tools for policymakers (pp. 27–34). Retrieved from


[1] National Institute of Corrections (NIC), 1993.

[2] See 1f: Setting Ground Rules.

[3] SMART Technologies, 2004.

1i: Developing a Mission for Your Policy Team

1i: Developing a Mission for Your Policy Team web_admin Wed, 12/29/2021 - 11:01

Introduction

If the vision statement is a picture of the desired future, the team’s mission statement[1] describes what your team will do. The mission will define the team’s work together in a realistic and meaningful way; it will translate your overarching vision of the future into a shorter-term set of activities that can be more readily accomplished while bringing your community closer to the ideal you envision.

The mission should be concrete, represent tangible targets of change activity, and be connected firmly to achieving some part of the larger vision. When developing your mission, it is important to be clear about what you want to achieve through your work (e.g., what problems or issues your team wants to overcome). This will make it easier when your team begins to develop specific goals and objectives for achieving your mission.

Purpose

To facilitate a dialogue among team members that will result in a statement reflecting the mission for the justice system in your community

Participants

All policy team members should be involved in the development of your mission statement.

Instructions

The following steps will guide your team through the development of your mission statement:

  1. Ask each team member to consider the following questions:
    • What function does the team perform?
    • For whom does the team perform these functions?
    • Why do you exist as a team?

    Provide team members a few minutes to jot down their ideas about these questions. When they are finished, go around the room and record each person’s first response on a flip chart. Go around the room again and note each person’s second response. Continue this process until all ideas are recorded.

  2. Review the keywords generated. Discuss each one and ensure that its meaning is clear. Eliminate duplications. Develop a statement or set of statements that answers the questions and that reflects the consensus of the team.
  3. If multiple statements are produced, prioritize these by asking each member to rank order the statements; then tally the “votes” for each one.
  4. Follow the same process to answer the following questions: What must the team do to accomplish its vision? What are the team’s activities?
  5. For each question, develop a single statement (this may be one sentence or a full paragraph) that synthesizes the prioritized ideas into a mission statement. This process may take some time; you may not be able to complete this work in one session or even as a full team. You may decide it best to have one person or a subcommittee work on developing these statements between team meetings.

Tips

  • Try to make your mission clear enough to explain your work and purpose to a third party. Ask non-team members to read the mission and see if they understand what you are trying to accomplish.
  • Know that it is okay to let go of some key words or ideas that were shared early in the development process.
  • Rather than get overwhelmed by all the work that your team needs to do to accomplish its vision, focus on the work that your team needs to get done in the immediate future.
  • Revisit your mission periodically to determine whether the targets of change are still accurate or need to be revised.

Example:
Charlottesville–Albemarle County, Virginia, Mission Statement

“Working together for a safer community, one person at a time.”

The agencies in the Charlottesville-Albemarle Criminal Justice System seek to achieve justice and make communities safer by working closely together, applying the best known research to policies and practices, listening to those affected by crime, and recognizing that every interaction can lead to improved outcomes.

Additional Resources/Readings

Center for Effective Public Policy (CEPP). (2005). Collaboration: A training curriculum to enhance the effectiveness of criminal justice teams.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Collaboration-A-Training-Curriculum-to-Enhance-the-Effectiveness-of-Criminal-Justice-Teams-2005.pdf

Center for Effective Public Policy (CEPP). (2006). Getting it right: Collaborative problem solving for criminal justice. Retrieved from https://nicic.gov/getting-it-right-collaborative-problem-solving-crimina...

Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM). (2007). Enhancing the management of adult and juvenile sex offenders: A handbook for policymakers and practitioners.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/6-CSOM-Handbook.pdf

 


[1] Language adapted from CEPP, 2006 and CSOM, 2007.

1j: Creating a Charter for Your Policy Team

1j: Creating a Charter for Your Policy Team web_admin Wed, 12/29/2021 - 11:08

Introduction

Developing a written charter is a critical step towards achieving an effective team. It facilitates dialogue among team members about the ways that a group of individuals can and should operate, and it documents these agreements. Doing so ensures that these agreements are understood by all, facilitates the orientation of new team members, and supports the accountability of individual team members, as well as the team as a whole.

The policy team charter should define the purpose of the team, outline its vision and mission, and explain how it will work together. The charter is important as it

  • defines common objectives and the shared intent of the team;
  • keeps the team focused and helps the team determine when it goes off track (i.e., when activities go beyond the scope of the team);
  • defines team boundaries and agreements; and
  • helps team members determine when to raise an issue.[1]

The charter serves as a roadmap for the team’s work together and should be referred to when “times get tough.” It should be developed jointly, in principle if not in practice, and be agreed upon by all team members. Signatures on the charter reflect members’ commitment to adhere to the charter. Although a charter is similar to a memorandum of understanding (or to an agreement), its distinction is that it contains more detailed information that a MOU/A typically does.

While charters may differ from team to team, generally the following elements are included:

  • the clear and elevating goal (vision) the team is striving to achieve;
  • the specific mission of the team during the current phase of work;
  • the goals and objectives the team has agreed to take on to achieve the mission;
  • team membership and agreed-upon roles and responsibilities;
  • the team’s agreed-upon operating norms/ground rules;
  • the team’s agreements around making decisions; and
  • the resources and support available to the team as it conducts its work.[2]

Purpose

To create a charter that will map the course for the policy team

Participants

While all policy team members should ultimately agree to the content of the charter and indicate their agreement by signing the document, a few team members may draft the charter based on the work of the team (i.e., they may take team products such as the vision, mission, ground rules, and list of roles and responsibilities and combine them to form a formal charter).

As the team’s work evolves, the charter should be updated. For instance, an initial charter is unlikely to contain a detailed work plan, team membership might change, or operating norms or team member roles might be expanded over time. In these cases, an amended charter would include an updated work plan, team membership list, set of operating norms, or clarification of roles.

Instructions

As your team determines what it wants to achieve and makes agreements about how it will work together, complete and/or update the appropriate sections in your team’s charter. Consider the example charter in this kit.

  1. In the section entitled “Team Membership,” explain how team members were chosen and list all the members of your team. You may also wish to state your team’s agreement on whether or not the membership may change over time, as well as the use (or not) of proxies or designees of team members. If you want to include a full list of contact information, this can be attached to the charter as a separate document.
  2. Once team membership has been established, one of the first activities of the team should be to discuss the reason for its creation. The first section of a charter should include an introduction to your team. It should state the “context,” that is, the problem that is being addressed and the results that you expect to achieve. Once your team has developed a shared vision for your work together, fill in your team’s vision statement.[3]
  3. Following a discussion with the team on its mission (i.e., the activities your team will engage in to meet its vision), include the mission statement in your team’s charter.[4]
  4. As your team begins to clarify how it will work together, include the following in the charter:
    1. your team’s agreement on how often and for how long the policy team will meet;
    2. the ground rules and operating norms on which your team has agreed;[5]
    3. under “Team Roles and Responsibilities,” any special roles of team members (e.g., chair, facilitator) and expectations for all team members (e.g., all team members will attend every meeting)[6]; and
    4. under “Decision Making Guidelines,” agreements made by your team regarding your decision making process.[7]
  5. In the section entitled “Policy Team Activities,” refer to your team’s work plan. When your team is satisfied with the objectives contained in the work plan, include it as an attachment to your charter.[8] Update this attachment as your team revises its work plan.
  6. Once the team has reviewed and approved its contents, be sure to have all team members sign the charter to indicate their agreement to adhere to it.

Example:
Yamhill County, Oregon, EBDM Policy Team Charter

Policy Team Vision: We envision a safer Yamhill County community, where professionals work together utilizing data, research, and evidence-based practices in the criminal justice system. Yamhill County will experience enhanced public safety, a reduction in the number of victims, greater offender accountability, and a reduced threat of harm through appropriate application of proven practices at all phases of the criminal justice process.

Policy Team Mission: Our mission is to collaboratively develop, by July 1, 2011, a strategic plan to implement proven, cost-effective system improvements.

Policy Team Values:

  • Safe and healthy communities
  • Public safety
  • Fairness
  • Justice, due process, and rule of law
  • Respect for the rights, needs, and concerns of people who are victims of crime
  • Respect for the rights of people accused of crimes
  • Enhanced collaboration
  • Cost efficient and effective practices
  • Competent and dedicated criminal justice professionals

Policy Team Activities: To ensure accomplishment of the policy team’s mission, an action plan has been developed, defining the objectives and action steps the policy team will undertake. The action plan will be reviewed at each policy team meeting to ensure that tasks are completed as anticipated and updated as needed. The action plan is attached as Appendix 1.

Meeting Frequency and Duration: To accomplish its work, the policy team will meet on a regular schedule. The first meeting of the policy team will be 10/14/10. Policy team meetings will be held twice per month through June, 2011. If accomplishment of the action plan requires more or less time, the policy team will readjust this schedule as necessary.

Ground Rules and Operating Norms: The following ground rules and operating norms have been established, and team members have agreed to hold each other accountable for adherence to these rules and norms:

  • Be courteous.
    • Don’t interrupt.
    • Don’t talk over each other.
    • Don’t check emails during meetings.
    • Take important phone calls outside of meetings.
  • Be candid, honest, and open.
  • Strive to be goal-oriented.
  • Bring your “best self” to meetings.
  • Be on time, participate, complete assigned “homework,” attend all meetings, and stay for the duration of all meetings.
  • Start/end meetings on time.
  • Agendas will be sent out in advance by email.
    • Each member may add items to the agenda.
  • At the end of each meeting, members will review how the meeting went and how well its members adhered to the ground rules and operating rules.
  • Judge Collins will facilitate all meetings.
  • As the local coordinator, Director Ted Smietana will schedule meetings and handle all necessary logistics in between meetings.
  • The policy team will agree to the type of information/messages that will be shared with the policy team member agencies to ensure consistency.
  • Team members will be transparent with their agencies regarding the Initiative.

Decision Making Guidelines: The policy team has agreed on the following guidelines for decision making:

  • All members have equal status for the purposes of input and decision making.
  • No proxy voting will be permitted.
  • Unanimity is preferred; otherwise, decisions will be reached by consensus whenever possible.
  • When consensus cannot be achieved, we will respect divergent views, seek common ground, seek technical guidance, and continue to strive for consensus.
  • Team members will remain cognizant of the impact of our decisions on individual agencies.
  • Team members have independence to make decisions for their own agency, while still adhering to the collective interest of the policy team.
  • Each meeting will be recorded and minutes will be shared with team members.

Team Membership: Team members have been selected based upon the desire to have all local and relevant criminal justice agencies involved and represented.

  • At least one committee member represents each of the following disciplines/interest areas:
    • Law Enforcement—Sheriff Crabtree, McMinnville Chief Ron Noble, and Newberg Chief Brian Casey
    • Jail Administration—Sheriff Crabtree
    • Judiciary—Presiding Judge John L. Collins
    • County Administration—Commissioner Mary Stern
    • Correctional Treatment—HHS Director Silas Halloran-Steiner
    • Prosecution—District Attorney Brad Berry
    • Defense—Attorney Carol Fredrick
    • Victim Services—Debra Bridges
    • Community Corrections—Director Ted Smietana
  • On an ongoing basis, the team will reconsider its composition and seek to add members to the team as additional expertise is required. Because the work of the team will be intensive and require the full engagement of all policy team members, proxies and designees will not be allowed.

Team Roles and Responsibilities: The following roles have been established to support the effective work of the policy team:

  • Chair: The role of Chair will be filled by Judge Collins. The Chair’s role is to facilitate and oversee each policy team meeting and ensure that the team’s mission and purpose is being fulfilled.
  • Coordinator: The role of Coordinator will be filled by Director Ted Smietana. The Coordinator’s role is to organize meetings and activities and to manage all logistics for the team.
  • Recorder: Kathe Bonfield, of Community Corrections, will record each meeting and produce detailed meeting minutes for all team members.
  • All team members have the following responsibilities:
    • Each team member will serve as a liaison to the constituency/agency/interest area they are representing, carrying key discussion points to these individuals and reporting feedback to the team.
    • Each team member will serve as a liaison to the community, communicating key decisions and operational changes, and reporting feedback to the team.
  • In addition, the following unique responsibilities have been agreed upon:
    • Mimi Carter, Principal and EBDM Initiative Yamhill County Site Coordinator, Center for Effective Public Policy: Ms. Carter will act as a meeting co-facilitator, provide technical assistance, and coach the policy team through the Initiative process so that objectives will be reached. She will also broker any additional technical assistance resources as needed, advocate for the team, and critique the team to assist in the achievement of all goals.
    • Carl Gordon, Ph.D. Local Citizen and former Bureau of Prisons Chief Psychologist: Dr. Gordon will provide additional local technical assistance and team support.

Additional Resources/Readings

DRM Associates. (2001). Team charter.

Mind Tools. (2010). Team charters: Getting your teams off to a great start. Retrieved from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_95.htm

 


[1] DRM Associates, 2001.

[2] Mind Tools, 2010.

[3] See 1c: Creating a Vision for Your Policy Team.

[4] See 1i: Developing a Mission for Your Policy Team.

[5] For more information, see 1f: Setting Ground Rules.

[6] For more information, see 1k: Establishing Clear Roles and Responsibilities.

[7] See 1f: Setting Ground Rules.

[8] See 1l: Developing an Action Plan for Your Policy Team’s Work.

1k: Establishing Clear Roles and Responsibilities

1k: Establishing Clear Roles and Responsibilities web_admin Wed, 12/29/2021 - 11:14

Introduction[1]

Teams function most efficiently when members share a common understanding of each others’ roles and responsibilities. Indeed, one of the reasons why teams fail is a lack of clarity among team members regarding their respective roles, responsibilities, and the expectations they hold of one another when working together to accomplish their vision, mission, goals, and objectives. When roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, team members are more productive. There is less duplication of effort; less confusion, disappointment, and frustration; and greater productivity. When roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, team members look beyond their own individual positions and learn to understand, respect, and value the unique contributions of one another, and they recognize that the overall success of the team is a function of shared responsibility and ownership.

Purpose

  • To support team members in articulating their specific roles and responsibilities with respect to the policy team and its work;
  • To encourage team members to articulate the expectations they hold of one another; and
  • To identify the leadership attributes and characteristics team members feel are needed to support the team’s performance.

Participants

All policy team members should be involved in the development of the team members’ roles and responsibilities.

Instructions

  1. Working individually, have team members write three brief statements:
    • a “job description” of what they perceive as their EBDM policy team duties and responsibilities;
    • what they expect other members to contribute to the team’s work; and
    • the type of leadership attributes and characteristics they feel are needed to support the team’s performance.
  2. When team members are finished writing their individual statements, have each member read their job descriptions and express their expectations of other team members.
  3. As team members report on their job descriptions and expectations of each other, make two lists on a flip chart:
    • a list of the roles and responsibilities expressed by team members, making note of those expressed by more than one member; and
    • a list of members’ expectations of other team members, again making note of those expressed by more than one member.
  4. As a team, review the final lists. Compare and contrast each member’s ideas about their roles and responsibilities and what they expect the other team members to contribute. Discuss any differences in opinion or observations.
  5. Come to an understanding and consensus on policy team members’ key roles and contributions to the team’s operation.
  6. Exchange comments about the role of leadership on the team, including who assumes or is expected to assume leadership roles (including the EBDM policy team chair, local coordinator, and others) and what is expected of those assuming these roles. Add these to the list as appropriate.
  7. Once the team comes to consensus on the final list of roles, responsibilities, and expectations, record these in the team’s charter.

Some common responsibilities of team members include

  • participating actively in all meetings (responsibility);
  • serving as note taker and preparing meeting records (role);
  • completing assignments between meetings (responsibility);
  • serving as spokesperson for the team with county administration (role); and
  • serving as liaison between agency staff and the team (responsibility).[2]

Some common responsibilities of the local coordinator may include

  • arranging appropriate space for team meetings, as well as equipment, food, and beverages;
  • preparing materials for team meetings;
  • drafting and sending correspondence;
  • taking meeting minutes and creating accurate meeting records;
  • collecting and synthesizing data and information to support members’ work; and
  • preparing reports and other documents as appropriate.

Some common responsibilities of the team’s chair may include

  • chairing team meetings, facilitating discussions, and assuring the team stays focused on stated goals;
  • working closely with the local Initiative coordinator and team leadership to prepare for and follow up on team meetings, and overseeing all aspects of the team’s work ;
  • regularly communicating with team members about the status and progress of the team’s work; and
  • assigning team members to work groups to address specific issues.

Tips

  • As team members consider their “job descriptions,” they should not forget to account for their professional background and experience and what specific role(s) they can perform. Also, members might consider what interpersonal skills, interests, and experiences they can contribute to the team’s work.
  • Consider the team’s goals and specific work activities over the coming months. Check to be sure that the list of team roles and responsibilities, expertise, and contributions align with expected work activities. If gaps are noted, refer to 1d: Conducting a Stakeholder Analysis.
  • Be as specific as possible to define roles and responsibilities and agree on what should be listed in the team’s charter.

Example:
Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, Established Team Member Roles and Responsibilities

The following roles have been established to support the effective work of the policy team:

  • The role of the EBDM policy team chair will be to
    • chair the EBDM policy team meetings;
    • preside over all meetings;
    • work with the local coordinator;
    • act as the lead facilitator and team builder; and
    • act as the chief spokesperson, be the public face of the team, and represent the team’s interests.
  • The role of the local coordinator will be to
    • adhere to the EBDM process as established by the EBDM Framework, the National Institute of Corrections, and the EBDM policy team;
    • schedule meetings and send out agendas;
    • oversee the implementation of all EBDM planning activities;
    • serve as the primary contact for the project with members, the chair, and others
    • maintain timelines established by the policy team;
    • develop and oversee the action plan; and
    • coordinate all EBDM policy team activities and work group activities as assigned.
  • All policy team members will
    • serve as a liaison to the constituency/agency/interest area they are representing, carry key discussion points to these individuals, and report feedback to the policy team;
    • support the requests of the policy team and the local coordinator in an efficient manner; and
    • abide by consensus authority rule.

Additional Resources/Readings

CEPP. (2005). Teamwork exercise: Discussion of roles and responsibilities.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Teamwork-Exercise-Discussion-of-Roles-and-Responsibilities.pdf

Scholtes, P. R., Joiner, B. L., & Streibel, B. J. (2003). The team handbook (3rd ed.). Madison, WI: Oriel Inc.

 


[1] Language adapted from CEPP, 2005.

[2] Scholtes, Joiner, & Streibel, 2003.

1l: Developing an Action Plan for the Policy Team’s Work

1l: Developing an Action Plan for the Policy Team’s Work web_admin Wed, 12/29/2021 - 11:21

Introduction

After developing a vision and mission for your policy team, the team should determine the specific goals and objectives necessary to achieve each target of change in your mission. To recap:

  • Your vision is a statement about the clear and elevating goal your team is striving to achieve—a statement of your preferred future.
  • Your mission is a statement that describes the work your team intends to undertake during a specific period of time to make progress toward achieving your vision.
  • Your goals represent the accomplishments that must be realized to achieve your mission.
  • Your objectives are the steps, or tasks, that must be completed to meet your goals.

While the team should develop an action plan from the outset and include it in the charter, the plan will undoubtedly change as the team makes progress and learns more. As needed, update the work plan to keep it current, to pace work, and to gauge progress.

Purpose

To create an action plan that will outline the specific goals and objectives the team will undertake, the sequence and timing of activities, and the persons responsible for those tasks

Participants

All policy team members should be involved in the development of your action plan. (Individuals or groups of individuals within your policy team or outside of your policy team may be involved in achieving the objectives in your action plan.)

Instructions

The activities identified in this Starter Kit are intended to lay the groundwork for the implementation of the EBDM Framework.[1]

  1. Working together, refer to the activities listed on Getting from Here to There: The Roadmap for Preparing to Implement the EBDM Framework. Discuss each activity and ensure that all team members understand its purpose.
  2. Determine whether some of this work has been done before, in whole or in part.[2]
  3. Determine whether the goals listed in the Roadmap are the right goals for your policy team to achieve its mission, whether the goals should be changed somewhat, or whether new goals should be added.
  4. Agree upon the appropriate set of goals for your team’s work plan.
  5. Once this list is complete, place each goal in an order to reflect the sequencing of how these goals should be tackled.
  6. Next, consider each goal and identify the specific action steps (or objectives) that will be taken to achieve it. Determine the person(s) responsible for the task and a deadline for completion.
  7. Designate a team member who will create a written action plan for the decisions made during the action planning session. Refer to the action plan template in the Appendix as a guide for developing a formal, written action plan.

Tips

  • It may not be possible to forecast very specific steps for activities that will be accomplished in later months; try to develop in more detail the more immediate tasks (i.e., 3–4 months) that need to be accomplished.
  • Teams should revisit their action plan regularly to make revisions and adjustments as needed.

Example:
Ramsey County, Minnesota, Action Plan for the EBDM Planning Process (Abbreviated version of whole document)

 

Objective 1: Build a genuine, collaborative policy team

Implementation Steps (How)

Progress

By Whom &

With Whom

Target Date for Completion

Date Completed

Convene the full policy team.

First meeting held Nov. 8. Regular monthly meetings set up through Aug.

Local coordinator

10/15

11/8 & ongoing

Name a chair for the policy team.

Reviewed at Nov. 8 meeting.

Policy team

11/8

11/8

Draft and finalize a charter, which includes a vision, a mission, ground rules, and team responsibilities, for the policy team.

Reviewed at Nov. 8 and 15 meetings. Reviewed again at Dec. 13 meeting and unanimously approved.

Policy team

Dec

12/13

Train new members of the policy team.

Setting up training for Mar.

Training subcommittee & policy team

Mar.

 

At the end of each meeting, review how the meeting went and how well members adhered to ground rules and operating rules.

An evaluation will be administered and reviewed at each meeting.

Local coordinator

Start Nov. & monthly

11/8 & ongoing

Objective 2: Build individual agencies that are collaborative and in a state of readiness for change

Implementation Steps (How)

Progress

By Whom &

With Whom

Target Date for Completion

Date Completed

Provide regular updates to judges and to the Board of Commissioners.

Visit judges one-on-one to update them on the Initiative; provide monthly updates to the Board of Commissioners; hold Board workshops

Chair

Nov. & ongoing

Nov. & ongoing

 

 

Objective 3: Understand and have the capacity to implement evidence-based practices

Implementation Steps (How)

Progress

By Whom &

With Whom

Target Date for Completion

Date Completed

Plan a workshop for leadership and line staff in participating agencies.

Dec. 2010: Initial planning was begun. Target date for workshop is Mar. 9. Education/Building Skills subcommittee was formed. Workshop to include an awareness survey.

Policy team and Education/Building Skills subcommittee

Mar.

 

Form an Education/Building Skills subcommittee to develop skills in each specialty area to ensure that staff in each organization has a base level of competency.

Work with managers and then with staff to build skills. Training subcommittee was formed. Discuss how to gauge knowledge level, skill level, and cultural change issues.

Education/Building Skills subcommittee

Dec. & ongoing

Dec. & ongoing

 

 

Objective 4: Establish performance measurements/outcomes/system scorecard

Implementation Steps (How)

Progress

By Whom &

With Whom

Target Date for Completion

Date Completed

Agree on key definitions (e.g., “recidivism,” “probation violation”).

This work will start during the mapping process.

Policy team

Feb. & Mar.

 

 

Objective 5: Engage/gain support of our communities

Implementation Steps (How)

Progress

By Whom &

With Whom

Target Date for Completion

Date Completed

Name stakeholders/communities to be kept informed.

Discussed at Nov. policy team meeting.

Policy team

Nov. & ongoing

Nov. & ongoing

Develop a plan for communicating with the public.

Discuss how to address livability issues; how to talk about EBP. What does the community already know? Consider using the information from the public opinion survey.

 

Consider television, newspaper releases, public service announcements, town meetings, etc.

Chair

Jan. & ongoing

Jan. & ongoing

 

Additional Resources/Readings

CEPP. (2005). Collaboration: A training curriculum to enhance the effectiveness of criminal justice teams. Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Collaboration-A-Training-Curriculum-to-Enhance-the-Effectiveness-of-Criminal-Justice-Teams-2005.pdf

CEPP. (2006). Getting it right: collaborative problem solving for criminal justice. Retrieved from https://nicic.gov/getting-it-right-collaborative-problem-solving-crimina...

CSOM. (2007). Enhancing the management of adult and juvenile sex offenders: A handbook for policymakers and practitioners. Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/6-CSOM-Handbook.pdf

Appendix:
Action Plan Template

GOAL #1 DATE TO BE COMPLETED BY WHOM WITH WHOM

GOAL #1

  • Specific task
  • Specific task
  • Specific task
  • Specific task
     

GOAL #2

  • Specific task
  • Specific task
  • Specific task
  • Specific task
     

GOAL #3

  • Specific task
  • Specific task
  • Specific task
  • Specific task
     

GOAL #4

  • Specific task
  • Specific task
  • Specific task
  • Specific task
     

ETC.

  • Etc.
  • Etc.
  • Etc.
     

 


[1] Please note that your policy team may or may not complete these activities in the same sequence as other sites.

[2] Work that has been completed before does not need to be redone unless it is dated, incomplete, or not fully encompassing of the EBDM initiative, or if all team members have not been a part of it. In these cases, adjustments may need to be made. Use the pre-existing work as a starting point, rather than starting from scratch.

1m: Managing the Policy Team: The Local Coordinator

1m: Managing the Policy Team: The Local Coordinator web_admin Wed, 12/29/2021 - 12:20

Introduction

Since policymakers are busy people, designating an individual to manage and facilitate the collaborative policy team is crucial to its success. For the planning phase of this initiative, this responsibility may fall to a designated local coordinator, who may at times play multiple roles, including facilitator, staff support person, or other roles needed by the policy team. For example, the designated local coordinator might be responsible (either directly or indirectly) for

  • developing long- and short-term work plans, and determining how each meeting will fulfill them;
  • making sure that meetings occur when needed;
  • preparing materials for team meetings, most importantly, developing meeting agendas;
  • taking meeting minutes and creating accurate and helpful meeting records;
  • providing follow-up to meetings;
  • collecting and synthesizing data and information to support members’ work;
  • providing information (e.g., data, concerns about progress) to policy team members;
  • developing detailed proposals for action (based on team guidance); and
  • preparing reports and other documents.[1]

Purpose

To provide local coordinators with some tips and resources that will assist them in managing their policy teams[2]

Participants

This document is geared toward local coordinators. Local coordinators may share this information with others as appropriate.

Instructions

Role of the Local Coordinator

In Charlottesville-Albemarle County, Virginia, a steering committee was formed to guide the work of the 16-person policy team representing both city and county interests.

Due to the team’s size, it was agreed that the team’s local coordinator would serve as the “information gatekeeper” and main liaison with all parties involved in the work. The local coordinator served on both the steering committee and the policy team and was responsible for:

  • taking the lead on administrative tasks;
  • taking meeting minutes;
  • preparing materials for meetings;
  • ensuring tasks were completed fully and on time;
  • coordinating dates for meetings and timelines;
  • supporting the policy team’s work by collecting and organizing data where applicable; and
  • serving as a communication liaison with all parties.

Below are some suggestions for activities you might engage in during your first few meetings to set up your team for success.[3]

Consider devoting one team meeting to organizing yourselves and your work.

  • The genesis of the team: Discuss who decided to bring the group together and why.
  • Introduction: Have each member introduce themselves and share a bit about their current professional work, their professional or academic background, and maybe even a personal fact or two.
  • Team composition: Discuss the team’s composition (this will probably be the first of several times that you will talk about this topic), the reactions of individuals asked to participate, and those who might join the team in the future.
  • Team roles: Consider how best to fill the roles of chairperson, team coordinator, research coordinator, facilitator, and staff support, etc.
  • The team’s name: Agreeing on a title for the team can be fun and often begins to focus the group on its common purpose.
  • The establishment of subcommittees: Begin a discussion about how the team’s work will be organized, considering for a moment the potential number of team members and the scope of the tasks you will undertake. Discuss the pros and cons of establishing a core committee and subcommittees. Again, it may be too soon to make a final decision on these matters, but it is not too soon to begin thinking about them.
  • Communication method: Establish a communication method that will work best for all team members. Perhaps you will use the “grapevine” method, where each person is responsible for contacting another. Alternatively, you may designate one person to be the information gatekeeper; this person will then be responsible for keeping everyone else informed. Discuss telephone contacts, email, and paper correspondences. What works best for the majority of members?
  • Regular meeting times: There is no doubt that coordinating meeting times may be one of your most difficult tasks. It is often easiest if you agree in advance on a regular time—say the first and third Wednesday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon—and suggest that members permanently mark these meetings in their calendars.

Consider devoting one meeting to exchanging information about one another.

  • The agencies at the table: In advance of the meeting, assign each member with the task of preparing a presentation on their agency for the next meeting. Control the amount of time for each presentation. Have each member describe what the agency does in general and specifically. Also have each member discuss their agency’s interest in the team’s work and what the agency stands to gain from it.
  • The individuals at the table: In the same (or, depending upon the time, a different) meeting, have each member discuss the reasons they are interested in being on the team and what they have to gain from participation. Have each member discuss what it means to them to be a meaningful participant. Have each person on the team, one by one, tell every other member why they feel that member is important to the team.
  • Meaningful work: Have each member indicate what will keep them coming to the meetings and what will cause them to drop off the team. Note these responses and pay careful attention to them over time.

Consider using a meeting to discuss the external environment (or context) in which your work is taking place.

  • Identify external conditions: Have members brainstorm a list of all the current external conditions that might influence your work, for example, a highly publicized case, a budget crisis, or an upcoming election.
  • Identify and prepare for possible influences: For each condition identified, consider the possible influence this may have on your work. Make plans to respond to influences that seem particularly worrisome and continue to monitor the others. Revisit this discussion over time.

Tips

It is important to keep a watchful eye on the collaborative team over the course of your work together. The ideas below will go a long way in helping to keep your team together and performing well:

  • Build meeting agendas together: Seek suggestions for meeting agenda items from team members and attempt to include all items. This builds investment in the meeting’s content. The chair or coordinator, facilitator, and potentially the staff should work together to develop the next meeting’s agenda well in advance.
  • Make clear work assignments: Develop an action plan for all new work tasks identified. Be clear to identify the member or members who will take responsibility for each task, how it will be carried out, and when.
  • Keep meeting records: Designate an individual to create an official record of each meeting, or rotate this responsibility. Indicate those present, the items discussed, agreements made, and action items assigned. Attach a copy of the meeting agenda. Prepare and distribute copies of the meeting record in a timely fashion. The record will inform absent members of the team’s work and serve as a reminder of assigned tasks.
  • Establish and maintain legitimacy: Work to establish the team’s legitimacy among its colleagues and partner agencies. Failing to establish legitimacy in the first place—or losing it once you have it—will undercut your ability to effect change.
  • Address turnover in membership: Members should be ready to suggest replacements to the team if and when a member leaves. It is important to identify new members as quickly as possible. Invest as much time as is necessary to bring new members up to speed, and assist them in establishing rapport with the rest of the team.
  • Remain alert to conflicts: It is common for groups to experience conflict at one time or another. Stay alert to disagreements or misunderstandings that might damage relationships or jeopardize your work, and address them directly before problems escalate.
  • Produce regular products: Document the team’s activities as discrete pieces of work are concluded. Work products—whether they are flow charts, detailed reports, or summaries of interviews conducted—provide a sense of accomplishment in addition to serving as an historical record.
  • Build in early accomplishments: As you begin your work together, attempt to identify some small but meaningful problems you can resolve quickly. For example, as you develop your system map, you may identify an inefficiency that can be easily rectified. We are not suggesting tackling prematurely major system changes that require careful analysis and planning, but rather remedying small glitches in your system that can be resolved quickly and provide some early “wins” for the team.[4]

Here are some other tips for activities that are worth doing and repeating:[5]

  • Refer to the group’s vision often.
  • Regularly review the group’s mission, goals, and objectives.
  • Stay in touch with individual policy team members to keep them engaged; “interview” them about their hopes, concerns, goals, etc.[6]
  • Conduct and repeat team-building exercises as necessary.
  • Determine if your meetings are effective. See the Appendix: Signs of Effective Meetings.

Example: Ramsey County, Minnesota, Policy Team Meeting Survey

In Ramsey County, Minnesota, the local coordinator distributed a survey at the end of each policy team meeting in order to collect feedback from the policy team members on how the meeting went. The survey asked each member to jot down the following:

 

Plusses: What worked well

Wishes: What else can be done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While this is a very simple idea, this strategy helped the chair and the local coordinator regularly “take the temperature” of the engagement and satisfaction levels of team members and continually assess the effectiveness of the meetings.

Additional Resources/Readings

CEPP. (2005). Signs of effective meetings.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Signs-of-Effective-Meetings.pdf

———. (2006). The role of facilitators and staff in supporting collaborative teams.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/The-Role-of-Facilitators-and-Staff-in-Supporting-Collaborative-Teams.pdf

CSOM. (2007). Enhancing the management of adult and juvenile sex offenders: A handbook for policymakers and practitioners.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/6-CSOM-Handbook.pdf

McGarry, P. (1993). Essential ingredients for success. In National Institute of Corrections, The intermediate sanctions handbook: Experiences and tools for policymakers (pp. 21–26). Retrieved from

SMART Technologies. (2004). Using group process techniques to improve meeting effectiveness.

Woodward, B. (1993). Establishing and maintaining the policy team. In National Institute of Corrections, The intermediate sanctions handbook: Experiences and tools for policymakers (pp. 27–34). Retrieved from

Appendix:
Signs of Effective Meetings

There are several indicators teams can use to assess the effectiveness of their meetings. Some common signs of an effective meeting include the following:

  • There is a detailed agenda that describes what will be covered, the goal of the meeting, who will discuss each item, and a time estimate for how long each item will take.
  • Responsibilities for facilitator, timekeeper, and record keeper are assigned.
  • A set of ground rules is established and posted.
  • There is clarity about the mode of decision making that will be used.
  • There are periodic checks during the meeting to ensure that progress is being made.
  • There are clear strategies to resolve conflict.
  • A record of the meeting is kept and specific action items are outlined.

If any of the following signs are present, it may indicate that teams are convening ineffective meetings and should consider changes to help make their meetings more productive:

  • Meeting goals are unclear.
  • The meeting agenda is vague or nonexistent.
  • There are no time limits on discussions.
  • There is no process for working on important issues.
  • No one is facilitating the discussion.
  • Participants haven’t done their homework.
  • Discussions are unfocused.
  • There is a lack of closure to discussions.
  • Participants argue—rather than debate—different points of view.
  • Not all team members participate.
  • The meeting ends without action plans or next steps being developed.
  • There is an absence of any check-in about how the meeting went.

From: https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Signs-of-Effective-Meetings.pdf

 


[1] NIC, 1993.

[2] For additional guidance, see 1o: Creating Useful Meeting Records and 1n: Developing Meeting Goals and Agendas.

[3] CSOM, 2007.

[4] CSOM, 2007.

[5] NIC, 1993.

[6] For a list of interview questions, see NIC, 1993, p. 28.

1n: Developing Meeting Goals and Agendas

1n: Developing Meeting Goals and Agendas web_admin Wed, 12/29/2021 - 13:28

Introduction

As the stewards of the policy team, the local coordinator and the team chair are responsible for ensuring that policy team meetings are productive. This means crafting meeting goals and an agenda that move the group forward in a deliberate fashion.

You cannot assume that just because the key policymakers are together in a room the team will naturally make progress. A clear set of goals and agenda for the meeting must be developed and circulated to the team prior to the meeting so that they understand the purpose and focus of the meeting and come prepared to work toward specific outcomes.

Purpose

To provide local Initiative coordinators with information and resources that will assist them in developing meeting goals and agendas

Participants

This document is geared toward local coordinators. Local coordinators may share this information with others (e.g., the team’s chair or another member who at times may assume responsibility for developing meeting goals and agendas) as appropriate.

Instructions

In establishing the goals for a meeting, consider the following questions:[1]

  1. What are the purposes of the meeting? What are you hoping to achieve in relation to the content and the process of the meeting?
    1. Content goals: What do you think is important for people to know, be exposed to, and have discussed by the end of the meeting? What decisions have to be made by the end of the meeting? What should be accomplished?
    2. Process goals: What messages and behaviors concerning the way (norms, structures) this group will/should operate do you want to establish or reinforce?
  2. Develop these into clear statements of the goals for the meeting.
  3. How do the meeting goals fit into the longer-term goals, mission, vision, etc., of the policy team?

In planning the agenda for a meeting, consider the following:[2]

  1. Consider the goals you developed above. Break these down into three categories:
    1. Information items: This is information that you need to share with policy team members (e.g., results from a study or article) that do not require discussion or feedback.
    2. Discussion items: These are the topics that are up for discussion, feedback, and/or development by team members (e.g., the team may discuss how arrest decisions are made).
    3. Decision items: The team should spend the majority of its time coming to agreement about certain topics or determining how to move forward (particularly once the team has been established and has been meeting regularly for some time). Strive to focus on decision items for two-thirds of your team meeting time.
  2. Determine the chronology of the agenda items:
    1. ls there a logical progression of activities? For example, do you move from general to specific, from specific to general, or back and forth?
    2. Do transitions from one agenda component to another seem smooth?
    3. Are the activities consistent with the process development of the group? For example, activities that generate heavy conflict or personal vulnerability should probably not be the first items on the agenda.
  3. The meeting leader does not have to take responsibility for all the items on the agenda. Assign other policy team members to lead different parts of the agenda as appropriate. (Make sure to tell them ahead of time what is expected of them!)
  4. You may begin a meeting by checking in with team members regarding their progress in accomplishing their “homework” since the last meeting. (This is where creating meeting records that remind members of their responsibilities comes in handy!) Regularly checking in with everyone about their progress will encourage accountability.
  5. Include as the final agenda item next steps and action planning. This will ensure that the group discusses what will happen in between this meeting and the next.
  6. Consider whether the agenda accomplishes your meeting goals.

Tips

When developing agendas, you might consider the following:

  • Is there a balance between lecture/presentations and participatory activities? Between “light” discussions and “deep” (e.g., potentially conflicting) discussions? In thinking about balance, be careful not to overload people with too much of one thing.
  • What materials will you need for the meeting? How will information be presented—verbally, on a flip chart, on handouts that can be read later?
  • Will the physical space and environment accommodate your goals and agenda? For example: Is there enough space to break into smaller groups? Is there wall space for hanging up flipchart paper? Can the tables and chairs be moved to meet your needs?
  • What do your team members want to cover during the meeting? Soliciting feedback or input from policy team members before finalizing the agenda is important to gaining their buy-in.
  • Is the agenda realistic in terms of timing? Remember: everything takes longer than you expect it to!

Example: Yamhill County, Oregon, Policy Meeting Goals and Agenda

Meeting Goals

The goals of today’s meeting are to

  1. continue work on and discussion about system mapping, key decision points, and use of evidence/information at decision points;
  2. begin to develop a communications/messaging strategy; and
  3. discuss upcoming work activities.

Agenda

7:00 a.m. Review of today’s meeting goals
7:05 a.m.

Mapping

  • Check in on key decision points and upcoming work group process
  • Check in on data collection strategy
  • Check in on resource inventory
  • Preliminary discussion: opportunities for advancement
8:00 a.m.

Communication/Messaging Strategy

  • Who are the key audiences?
  • What information do they receive now, and from whom?
  • What are the things they most need to know?
  • When do they need this information?
  • Who is best positioned to provide this information?
  • What are our “ground rules” about communicating?
8:50 a.m. Next steps
9:00 a.m. Adjourn

Next Meeting Dates: All meetings will be held in the Annex.

  • February 3, 7:30–9:00
  • February 15, 7:00–9:00
  • March 3, 7:30 – 9:00
  • March 15, 7:00–9:00
  • April 7, 7:30–9:00
  • April 19, 7:00–9:00
  • May 5, 7:30–9:00
  • May 17, 7:00–9:00
  • June 2, 7:30–9:00
  • June 21, 7:00–9:00

Additional Resources/Readings

CEPP. (2006). The role of facilitators and staff in supporting collaborative teams.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/5-Role-of-Facilitators-and-Staff-in-Supporting-Collaborative-Teams.pdf

McGarry, P. (1993). Essential ingredients for success. In National Institute of Corrections, The intermediate sanctions handbook: Experiences and tools for policymakers (pp. 21–26). Retrieved from

SMART Technologies. (2004). Using group process techniques to improve meeting effectiveness. Retrieved from

Woodward, B. (1993). Establishing and maintaining the policy team. In National Institute of Corrections, The intermediate sanctions handbook: Experiences and tools for policymakers (pp. 27–34). Retrieved from

 


[1] NIC, 1993, p. 23.

[2] Ibid.

1o: Creating Useful Meeting Records

1o: Creating Useful Meeting Records web_admin Wed, 12/29/2021 - 13:31

Introduction

Since policymakers are busy people, designating an individual to manage and facilitate the planning process is crucial to the team’s success. Local coordinators may at times (or always) assume responsibility for facilitation and other team support responsibilities, or they may designate and/or work with others who will take on these roles.

The regular recording of meetings ensures that policy teams are as productive as possible and is the responsibility of the team staff support person (or designee). Meeting records capture essential information and remind team members what happened during a meeting, including the decisions made. Records will serve to update absent team members of the work conducted during a missed meeting, and ensure that all team members are clear about their individual assignments and the team’s next steps.

Purpose

To provide local coordinators with information and resources about how to create useful meeting records

Participants

This document has been developed for local coordinators. Local coordinators may decide to share this information with others (e.g., a designated meeting recorder) as appropriate.

Instructions

The following are instructions for taking useful meeting minutes:[1]

  1. Record the date and time of the meeting, its purpose, attendees, and the meeting lead or chair name.
  2. Take notes however you feel comfortable (laptop, pen and paper, etc.).
  3. In your notes, provide space for filling in information during the meeting; label one section “Decisions Made” and one “Action Items.” Complete these sections as they come up during the meeting.
  4. Begin the record by stating the goals of the meeting. This will help frame the record.
  5. Do not take notes verbatim (there is no need for a transcript!); instead, provide an overview of the discussion items. Highlight the purpose of each discussion item and the salient points raised. Include decisions made and assignments (action items). For each action item that you list, record who is responsible for taking the next step and by when.
  6. Ask clarifying questions as needed throughout the meeting.
  7. After the meeting, type up (or clean up) your notes. Refer to the meeting record template in the Appendix. Make sure to
    1. attach, or include, a copy of the meeting goals and agenda;
    2. add page numbers to the document;
    3. write in the same tense throughout;
    4. remove individuals’ names from discussion points;
    5. add names and dates to action items;
    6. note at the end of the record the next meeting date(s); and
    7. place reference documents in an appendix or attach them to the record.
  8. Distribute the meeting notes as a draft document to the team. Ask team members to review the notes for accuracy and to provide any corrections to the record. Once the team approves the record, note it as a final document and circulate it again.

Tips

The following are tips for taking meeting minutes:

  • Don’t worry about keeping minutes in chronological order; sometimes discussions don’t happen that way. After the meeting, you may have to reorganize some information to make the record easier to read.
  • Use few adjectives and adverbs, and avoid personal observations; try to stay as objective and factual as possible.
  • Break up discussions or agenda items within the meeting record for ease of review. Headings and subheadings can be a helpful way to organize a record, and the use of introductory sentences such as “Next, the team discussed its vision for its work” can help organize the flow. Underneath each heading or subheading, list bullet points that outline what was discussed and decided.

Example: Ramsey County, Minnesota, Record of EBDM Policy Team Meeting

 

Evidence-Based Decision Making Policy Team:
Meeting Record

Agenda item:

Policy Team Membership Update

Discussion:
Carol will be meeting soon with the sheriff and the St. Paul police department chief. There is good indication that both are on board to join the policy team; the hope is that they attend the next policy team meeting. There was a discussion on bringing in a policy team member from the St. Paul city council and a suggestion that another city-elected official be drawn from the Ramsey County League of Local Governments.

 

Action items

Person responsible

Deadline

Reach out to St. Paul city council and Ramsey County League of Local Governments

Chris Crutchfield

Feb. 5, 2011

 

Agenda item:

Education/Building Skills Committee

Discussion:
Patrick gave an update on the Education/Building Skills Committee meeting. The Committee has defined the audience, discussed the meeting mechanics, and developed a rough draft of the agenda for a March 9 event. Speakers are still being sought. The meeting should give people an understanding of evidence-based decision making and what it means for Ramsey County. Judge Gearin suggested that media be brought in. There will be a panel with the key players from each agency. Becki reminded the group that we are in Phase 2, the planning phase, of the Initiative. This event should be thought of as an awareness-building event instead of training/education.

The editorial board from both newspapers should be invited to the March 9 event. Community media should be considered as well. The Coalition to Preserve Minnesota’s Justice System does media/public outreach. They would be interested in this. Members include justices and chiefs of police, and they have monthly meetings.

 

Action items

Person responsible

Deadline

Supply Connie or Chris with numbers of attendees from each agency.

Policy team members

1/25/11

Draft letter for Judge Gearin to send out to other chief judges.

Chris Crutchfield

1/25/11

Prepare a “Save the Date” message and mail it to Ramsey County criminal justice organizations.

Chris Crutchfield

1/21/11

Prepare a press strategy: includes preparing press releases, identifying a contact person for the press, determining who will be contacted (both newspapers, community media, Coalition to Preserve Minnesota’s Justice System), etc.

Chris Crutchfield

2/5/11

Prepare an Awareness Survey to distribute to event participants.

Becki Ney and Education/Building Skills Committee

2/20/11

 

Agenda item:

System Map Review

 
 

Discussion:

The system map was reviewed. It was suggested that a large map with numbers and time frames be on display at the March 9 event. The team needs to look at how “evidence-based” we are at each decision point and what should be done to make the process better. Once the maps are somewhat finalized, the original mapping group members should be brought back together to go over them. The Data Committee will be given the task of filling the data needs determined by going over the map. Areas that are starting to look like priority decision points are Court Case Processing, Pleas, Diversion, and Warrants. Outside technical assistance could be brought in to help with the Court Case Processing decision point.

The group also discussed diversion. Is diversion linked only to Project Remand? Are there programs attached to this? These questions should also be asked of the suburbs and employers. What is our potential in this area? We should look at diversion criteria, arresting criteria, and charging criteria.

Other areas to look into include the number of people charged with livability crimes, trespassing crimes, and disorderly conduct.

The chart below reflects issues and information needs that were brought up at this meeting.

 

System Map Review: Issues/Information Needs (Adult Offenders Only)

Police

Guidelines on who or who not to arrest; how are these decisions made (type of offense, behavior, etc.)?

Guidelines for establishing probable cause

Guidelines for issuing citations

Pretrial (Project Remand)

Return to court rate for each category and demographic

Appearance rates of detainees v. non-detainees (first appearance in court)

Diversion (no plea of guilty for Project Remand diversion)

  • Is it risk based?
  • How many people are diverted?
  • What are the criteria for diversion?

Warrants

When are warrants issued and for what reason? What are the number of

  • felonies;
  • misdemeanors;
  • no shows;
  • no reappearance; and
  • revocations of conditional release?

How long have warrants been outstanding?

Average number of warrants per person

Number of warrants v. number of people issued warrants

Charging

Need the payables list

What are the criteria for payables?

First Appearance

Number of guilty v. not guilty

% of offenders who plea at each point

What do early resolution cases look like compared to ones that go further?

Court

Number of pleas at each stage

Number of dismissed at each stage

Number of continuances and reasons; who requested continuance?

Length of time from start to resolution

Correctional Facility

How many people are at RCCF on livability crimes?

 

The meeting was adjourned.

Next Meeting: February 14, 2011, Noon–4:30, Room 41, Courthouse

Additional Resources/Readings

CEPP. (2006). The role of facilitators and staff in supporting collaborative teams.
Retrieved from https://cepp.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/5-Role-of-Facilitators-and-Staff-in-Supporting-Collaborative-Teams.pdf

McGarry, P. (1993). Essential ingredients for success. In National Institute of Corrections, The intermediate sanctions handbook: Experiences and tools for policymakers (pp. 21–26). Retrieved from

SMART Technologies. (2004). How to record useful meeting minutes. Retrieved from

Woodward, B. (1993). Establishing and maintaining the policy team. In National Institute of Corrections, The intermediate sanctions handbook: Experiences and tools for policymakers (pp. 27–34). Retrieved from

 

Appendix:
Meeting Record Template

Meeting Record Template


[1] SMART Technologies, 2004.