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A Conversation with Keramet Reiter on Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons
George Mason’s University’s Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!) & the Department of Criminology, Law & Society Proudly Present A Conversation with Keramet Reiter on Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons. Keramet Reiter is an Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law & Society at the University of California, Irvine.

This event will take place Monday, November 14th from 11:00am to 12:15pm at the Johnson Center (Fairfax Campus), 334, Meeting Room E.

Download the event flyer.

Jurisdictions Using RNR Simulation Tool

The RNR Simulation Tool is a translational tool to help jurisdictions advance practice in Risk-Need-Responsivity. The toolkit is designed to assist agencies in determining what forms of programming will be most effective in reducing recidivism and improving outcomes within their population. The tool is designed to guide resource allocation and help jurisdictions identify service provision gaps. It is made up of three linkable portals that provide decision-support at the offender, program, and system level: Assess an Individual; RNR Program Tool for Adults; and Assess Jurisdiction's Capacity. Used together, these tools can have a significant impact on recidivism at a system level. Here is a map of jurisdictions that have used some aspect of the toolkit—we are helping organizations put in place RNR principles. Click here to view the toolkit and take a test drive.

ACE! Director Faye Taxman, Deputy Director Danielle S. Rudes and Doctoral Students Teneshia Thurman, Kimberly S. Meyer, and Shannon Magnuson designed a course to help justice agencies use implementation science.

We are working with the Virginia Department of Corrections on this course.

Course materials are derived from materials developed as part of ongoing implementation science work including: 1) Dr. Faye Taxman is doing an Implementation Fellowship with the Bureau of Justice Assistance; and 2) Dr. Rudes has a grant from the National Institute of Justice on looking at implementation science in the adoption of evidenced based practices.

The team presented a session on Implementation Science in Justice Agencies at the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) SmartSuite Summit conference in early September.

For more information on the workshop, please see the Implementation Science in Justice Agencies page. Also email Kimberly Meyer if you would like more information on this course.


Dr. Rudes quoted in U.S. News & World Report


ACE!'s Dr. Danielle Rudes was recently quoted in the U.S. News & World Report article titled Probation for President Hillary Clinton? Here's How it Would Work.

Read the article here.

Dr. Rudes quoted in the Washington Post


Dr. Danielle Rudes was quoted in the Washington Post article titled Reentry groups invest in ex-inmates to break the cycle of crime. Read the article here.

ACE! Researcher Jennifer Lerch along with Bahamas Correctional Services officers and visiting probation and parole experts


Judith Sachwald, Faustino Lopez, and Jennifer Lerch recently presented at the “Sharing experiences on Community Corrections: Probation and Parole Supervision” workshop in Nassau, Bahamas. The Government of the Bahamas and the Inter American Development Bank hosted this workshop aimed at assisting the Bahamian government build a parole system within their criminal justice system. Together with colleagues from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Canada, our team shared from experience and research what works and doesn’t work in community supervision.

Former ACE! GRA Successfully Defends Dissertation

Congratulations to Dr. Erin Crites!

ACE!'s work with the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation


The Maryland Division of Parole and Probation is engaging in research and organizational implementation strategies with the Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!) to align the agency’s mission and goals to achieve public safety with current trends and evidence-based practices in corrections. One focus is on improving the training and professional development of staff. Currently, the ACE! Research Team has been conducting a series of Quality Improvement Work Sessions with the agency’s middle managers.

Designed as an outgrowth of focus groups, training sessions and ethnographic field work over the last three years, the Work Sessions deliver research inspired technical support using the PDSA model (Plan-Do-Study-Act) to assist middle managers in improving the way they localize and implement policies and practices. More specifically, the Work Sessions are designed to: 1) help management staff reflect on past policy implementation and reconstruct implementation channels; 2) empower middle managers to innovate within their own offices and; 3) mentor middle managers to act as “gatekeepers” in policy implementation, both down to front-line staff and up to administrators.

These Work Sessions also involve collaborative activities and challenges, such as drawing processes or building structures, aimed at exploring the hidden assumptions in daily processes and gleaning translatable lessons to workplace management. The picture features two middle managers engaging in one activity the Marshmallow Challenge (for more information on this activity click here).

Deputy Director Danielle Rudes sat on an invited panel for S-CAR (School for Conflict Resolution) on Mason's Arlington Campus on American Justice System and Barriers to Reentry

Silent Auction for a Worthy Cause
On September 19, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU students) and George Mason University (GMU students) are coming together to provide a Social Jazz Event to help fund job training programs and educational opportunities to give an at-risk youth another chance.

To learn more about the event and silent auction, view the flyer here.

ACE! Partners with the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) to examine what factors make a probation agency "ready" to adopt evidence-based practices (EBPs)
ACE! researcher Stephanie Maass has partnered with the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) to examine what factors make a probation agency "ready" to adopt evidence-based practices (EBPs). During this 18-month partnership, ACE! will train over 60 management-level officers at 9 districts to be internal fidelity coaches who monitor and assist officers in using EBPs. To ensure all officers have the same level of knowledge about EBPs, nearly 300 probation officers will also receive training on core correctional practices via an online training platform developed by ACE! (SOARING 3). By understanding what factors make a probation agency ready to adopt EBPs we can work with agencies do build their readiness factors prior to engaging in the adoption process and increase their likelihood of successful implementation of evidence-based practices.

Look for preliminary findings from this and other ACE! projects at this year's American Society of Criminology Annual Conference (see for conference location and details).

Meet our summer 2015 NIDA intern!
Mary Mun is a sophomore at New York University studying Global Public Health and Applied Psychology in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She is from Chantilly, Virginia and was sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Summer Research Program to work at ACE! at George Mason University as a research assistant. Mary worked on the MAPIT project in Baltimore, Maryland with her interest in better serving the community and learning more about human behavior.

Take a look at Mary's presentation to learn more about her work over the summer!

ACE! article among the 10 top-read articles of 2014 from Criminal Justice and Behavior!
Congratulations to Alese Wooditch, Larry Tang (GMU Statistics Department), and Faye!

Their article titled “Which Criminogenic Need Changes Are Most Important in Promoting Desistance From Crime and Substance Use?” was listed as one of CJB’s top-read articles for 2014. As a result, it is Open Access and free for downloading – this means practitioners (and others) without academic journal privileges can access this article!

Congratulations on this important, and well-read, work!

  Welcome to the Center

Collaborative and creative research to advance evidence-based practices

conducts collaborative and creative research to assist policy makers and correctional practitioners with using evidence-based practices and treatments. We work with our partners in crafting new policies focused on preventing criminal behavior instead of simply responding to it.

A conversation with...


John Laub, Ph.D.


Joan Petersilia, Ph.D.

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  Important Downloads  
Advancing Practice: June 2015
When Agencies Partner: Key Components of Positive Supervision and Service Agency Partnerships
Advancing Practice: May 2014
Advancing Practice: October 2013
What are the 5 myths of incarceration? Learn about them here!
"Tools of the Trade: A Guide to Implementing Science Into Practice"
JSTEPS Presentations

VIDEO: In November 2011, Dr. Faye Taxman spoke with VERA Institute of Justice director, Michael Jacobson, about how US corrections systems can adopt practices to help reduce recidivism - a shift that will require substantive and cultural changes.



Interested in Graduate School at GMU?

Here are a few research opportunities for our students. Explore, consider, and discuss exciting research to advance the field of crime and health policies!

studies Learn about our studies

dept Learn about our department

  Spotlight icon Spotlight: ACE! Welcomes Undergraduate Research Assistants  

Working within the framework of George Mason's Students as Scholars Initiative, ACE! hires several Undergraduate Research Assistant positions each semester and over the summer. These positions provide students with insight to life in graduate school, opportunities to work with faculty, and first-hand experience at scholarship inquiry and development within an active criminal justice research center. Undergraduate Research Assistants participate in ACE! orientation and project-specific training and are assigned a graduate student mentor for the duration of their research assistantship. Students are given weekly task lists that outline their project-related duties so as to provide a simple structure to follow. To find out more about this program, please see page 11 of ACE!'s March 2012 publication of Advancing Practice. ACE! is pleased to welcome the following Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Karlie Berry is a sophomore at George Mason University, majoring in Criminology, Law and Society with a double minor in Intelligence Analysis and Social Justice. She is excited to dip her toes into the world of research and explore a different side of the criminal justice system. Karlie is still unsure exactly what path to follow as a career, but was inspired by ACE!’s approach and hopes to be able to apply it’s philosophy to wherever she ends up.
Lauren Dunaye is a senior Criminology major at George Mason University. She hopes that working with ACE! will provide her with useful analytical skills for the future. Although she is open to all career opportunities, she finds the subject of corrections particularly fascinating.
Tyler Figenbaum is a sophomore at George Mason University, majoring in Criminology, Law and Society with a concentration in Homeland Security and Justice, along with a double minor in Intelligence Analysis and International Security. Tyler is interested in looking at different approaches that might reduce recidivism rates in the United States. Tyler’s career goals include working for the federal government as an analyst.
  Paul Schnabel is a senior at George Mason University majoring in Criminology, Law and Society and Chinese Language. He is interested in learning more about the intersection of research and corrections. He looks forward to using the ACE! UGRA lab to explore various contemporary corrections issues as a way to help narrow his future career path.
Aimee Wang is a junior at George Mason University majoring in Criminology, Law and Society with a minor in Intelligence Analysis. Throughout her courses, Aimee has dabbled in crime data analysis and writing. She hopes that working with ACE! will give her a chance to use these skills as well as expand on her current knowledge. She is excited as to what doors ACE! may help open in regards to planning for future career opportunities.
  Current Projects icon Current Projects View all projects

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ACE! is working with Ralph Serin of Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada on a new project funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. In this study, we are developing tools to assist correctional agencies in translating research into practice and to train agencies in evidence-based practices.

Learn More

Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR)

A project funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, where we are working to develop a RNR Simulation Tool to assist agencies to use the risk-need-responsivity approach in practice through defining the type and nature of correctional options available in their jurisdictions.

Learn More


MAPIT examines the impact that In-Person Motivational Interviewing (MI) versus a Motivational Computer Program (MC) has on probationers outcomes with court determined drug and alcohol conditions as compared to standard probation.
  ACE! Leadership View all ACE! members

Photo of Dr. Faye Taxman

Dr. Faye Taxman

ACE! Director Dr. Faye Taxman is a methodologist specializing in randomized trials and interventions for individuals involved in the criminal justice system. She is recognized for her work in the development of the seamless systems of care models that link the criminal justice with other service delivery systems. Faye is a leader in translational research and has developed numerous tools that advance the field.

Photo of Dr. Danielle Rudes

Dr. Danielle Rudes

ACE! Deputy Director Dr. Daniell Rudes' research falls at the nexus of organizational theory and socio-legal studies where she is broadly interested in understanding how street-level workers negotiate organizational change and the impact their decisions have upon policy and practice. Danielle is involved in qualitative fieldwork and data collection examining various aspects of organizational change among police in Trinidad, among Federal Drug Court work-groups, and with correctional officers in Maryland.

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