The Seven Commandments of Community Corrections

Commandment 4: You control processes, not results.  Focus on what you control

"If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing." - W. Edwards Deming 

If your head is spinning with all of the talk about Evidence Based Practices (EBP) and focus on outcomes, you are not alone. It is a daunting task to develop systems, policies and practices around the principles of effective intervention and truly impact recidivism rates.  When attempting to influence behavior change of another person, your realm of direct influence is narrow and shallow.  Most clients have greater forces supporting the status quo than change. Yet, we are being held accountable for what happens several years down the road.  It seems hopeless, impossible, frankly, ridiculous. At least it is if you get obsessed with the end results.  You cannot control people or the future so attempting to control both is a like bluffing with a pair of 2s.  You know you are going to lose but it drags out the game.

Why is implementing the principles of effective intervention so difficult?  In part because it requires a great deal of expertise, organizational change and resources. More importantly, you cannot implement principles and outcomes. You implement processes. Those processes should be based on sound, proven principles.  Processes are performed by people - supported by systems and operational practices. If you have quality people performing quality processes, the results will follow.  Focus on the process!


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