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Implementation Science in Justice Agencies

ACE! Deputy Director Danielle S. Rudes and Graduate Research Assistants Teneshia Thurman, Kimberly S. Meyer, and Shannon Magnuson presented a session on Implementation Science in Justice Agencies at the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) SmartSuite Summit. For more information on the workshop, please see the Implementation Science in Justice Agencies page.


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!

Congratulations ACE! Alumni!
Congratulations to a group of ACE alumni that will be starting new positions this fall. Dr. Lincoln Sloas, class of 2015, has started a position as Assistant Professor at Florida Atlantic University's School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Dr. Jill Viglione, also class of 2015, has started a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Texas San Antonio. Previously ACE! Post Doctoral Researchers, Dr. Brandy Blasko will be an Assistant Professor at Sam Houston State Univeristy and Dr. Liana Taylor has accepted a Visiting Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Texas A&M University - Central Texas.


Correctional Staff and Inspiration Leadership
Dr. Faye Taxman and colleagues are discussed in the Huffington Post article titled "Inspirational Leadership Turns Employee Cynicism Around, Study Finds."

To read the article, click here.

Faye Taxman became Editor-in-Chief of the new journal Health & Justice by SpringerOpen

ACE! Director, Faye Taxman, is now the Editor-in-Chief of the new journal Health & Justice by SpringerOpen.


For more information about this journal, please click here.


  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:

Dana Beach is a senior at George Mason University majoring in Criminology, Law and Society with a concentration in Criminal Justice. Dana is looking to gain as much experience as she can before entering Graduate School. ACE! will give her the chance to test the research waters and provide her with her first work experience in the Criminal Justice field. Dana is still unsure as to what exact career path she will follow, but she believes that ACE! will bring her closer to deciding.
Marianne McKonel is a senior in the Bachelor of Individual Studies program. It is an interdisciplinary program. Marianne's program consists of Horticulture Therapy, Psychology, Criminology and Community gardens/Sustainable Agriculture. It is through Horticulture Therapy that she became interested in criminology. Marianne read several articles about how community gardens are being used in prisons to help offenders with different skill sets and coping mechanisms. This led her to Professor Rudes and her class, Criminology 402, Corrections. During her class she talked about ACE! Marianne was curious about how research and specifically research in criminology was conducted.
  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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