July 2019


Hello, Pracademics!

Director's Note: Peer-to-Peer Relationships

Hello, summer! This issue is all about learning from peers. Our Pracademic partners are natural collaborators. And we have seen firsthand the magic that happens when Pracademics pool their expertise and share their creations. We highlight a program that was developed by one of our Pracademics, Detective Kim Bogucki of the Seattle Police Department. We partnered with a Pracademic in Alabama to test Kim’s program in a prison, using an RCT. Our interview with Kim gives the inside scoop on how a creative thinker used the experience of people around her to innovate. For those of you in law enforcement, we also highlight the National Institute of Justice LEADS Initiative—an excellent example of a growing network that is thriving on peer collaboration. We hope that this issue inspires you to be bold and ask questions of others around you. And to be generous in allowing others to learn from you. Learn from each other’s successes and failures and use this knowledge to make your agency (and yourself) even better at what you do.

Best Wishes,

Pracademia in Practice: The IF Project

Our Pracademic partner, Kim Bogucki, is the creator of the IF Project. The program centers on a simple proposition: “What if…?” This question, in several permutations (What could someone have said that would have changed the course of your life? What would you see if you stood in front of your childhood home?), was intended to guide participants to “aha” moments in realizing where they had started to make bad choices and how they might get back on track. We partnered with a Pracademic in Alabama, Dr. Katie Owens-Murphy, to test if the IF Project improved outcomes for male prison residents. Volunteers were randomly assigned to the program or to a waitlist control group. The program was first piloted in Seattle with women residents and has since been implemented in facilities across the country, but this is the first test of the IF Project using a randomized controlled trial.
Learning Corner: Learning from Our Peers

Haven’t we all had someone in our lives whom we looked up to and tried to emulate? As children, this might have been a parent or older sibling, a teacher or coach, and as we got older, maybe a friend or even a boss or supervisor. The fact is that we don’t have to navigate any aspect of life on our own. There are resources to assist you right in your neighborhood, your office, your agency! This is also true with your ideas for innovation. Not only can you depend on BetaGov to lend you a hand, but you have other Pracademics to learn from and lean on.
News and Updates

BetaGov is fortunate to have been selected to provide assistance to law-enforcement officers who are part of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Initiative. We’ve shared information about NIJ LEADS in a prior newsletter but it seems appropriate to highlight again given this issue’s theme of peer engagement. This innovative collaboration helps LEADS Scholars in integrating research into their departments and provides NIJ with feedback from creative officers who are interested in understanding and implementing new approaches in research. Although applications have closed for the upcoming year, scholarships are awarded annually. You can find more information about this project here.
Partner Spotlight: Kim Bogucki

Meet Kim Bogucki with the Seattle Police Department, one of our Pracademic partners. Kim has partnered with BetaGov and other Pracademics on several pilots. In addition, Kim is the creative force behind the IF Project (see “Pracademia in Practice”). Kim tells us about her experience developing a program that grew when she listened—really listened—to justice-involved people. Her initial pilot project has since been implemented in many jurisdictions across the United States and abroad. Kim is the epitome of a peer-to-peer catalyst!
Have an inspired pracademic day!
BetaGov  |  The Marron Institute of Urban Management   |  New York University  
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