Creating a Logic ModelLogic models are visual diagrams and can be thought of as road maps that display how resources are transformed into activities and how these activities are linked to particular outcomes. Information necessary to create a logic model for an arrest alert system includes program goals and objectives, policies, staffing, performance measures (outputs and outcomes), and data sources. In general, logic models (see Figure 1 on page 4) often include four concepts to demonstrate program functioning: In general, logic models (see Figure 1) often include four concepts to demonstrate program functioning:
1. Resources include any investments into the arrest alert system. These investments may require additional money, staff, office space, computers, and other materials. The resources in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s (Manhattan D.A.’s Office) logic model included:
» The Crime Strategies Unit, staffed by a chief, five Assistant District Attorneys, five intelligence analysts and an administrative assistant was created. The attorneys do not have an active caseload, but instead work to identify and collect intelligence on priority targets. This gathered intelligence forms the basis of the Arrest Alert system.
» The cooperation and support of the New York Police Department, community coordinators (from the Community Partnership Unit) and community stakeholders (e.g., business owners or community leaders).
» Information technology staff.
2. Activities include any actions or events undertaken by staff working with the arrest alert system.
In establishing and managing the Arrest Alert system, the Manhattan D.A.’s Office’s Crime Strategies Unit engaged in the following activities:
» Established relationships with the NYPD and community leaders. One of the ways to secure these relationships involved its staff attending monthly community and police led meetings.
» Requested NYPD precinct commanders to identify 25 crime drivers. Once this information was received from all 22 precincts, the Crime Strategies Unit staff began collecting, storing, and organizing intelligence on these individuals who became the first wave of priority offenders with arrest alerts.
These actions established the foundation in which the Crime Strategies Unit staff could engage in program activities. These activities included, among other activities, establishing web-based resources to house the intelligence gathered on priority individuals, and conducting numerous lectures and trainings in order to inform potential users (prosecutors) about Arrest Alert and how to use it
3. Outputs are the direct result of activities, are typically quantified, and can include the size and scope of services and products created.
The Crime Strategies Unit produced numerous outputs which include the Arrest Alert system. The Crime Strategies Unit also created electronically accessible databases which provide prosecutors with a wealth of information regarding homicides, shootings, and gangs. These databases also feature contact information for law enforcement officials by police precincts, general information regarding the geography of public housing buildings in Manhattan, as well as photo sheets of defendants (i.e., mug shots) who are identified as gang members. The Crime Strategies Unit also created a web-based form, “DANY311,” in which prosecutors and paralegals can submit inquiries regarding defendants, victims, and witnesses. This web-based system also tracks questions and responses allowing the Crime Strategies Unit to examine and identify trends in inquiries as well as the response time by staff.
4. Outcomes include the anticipated benefits that program activities and their immediate outputs produce. Outcomes can be separated into three types: short-term, intermediate, and long-term. Short-term outcomes for the Manhattan D.A.’s Office’s Crime Strategies Unit included an accurate understanding of the nature of crime issues in different communities. Intermediate outcomes included enhanced prosecutions, which could manifest themselves as a change in charging decisions, pretrial release or detention (including monetary bail bond) requests, or sentencing recommendations. The long-term outcome for the Manhattan Crime Strategies Unit is an increase in public safety..
As indicated in Figure 1, resources, activities, and outputs are inherent in the program. They should immediately reflect what an arrest alert system is doing and what staff or other resources it is using to accomplish its activities. By comparison, short- term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes may all be thought of as less under the direct control of program staff or as less inherent in program activities. Rather, outcomes are the results that the program achieves after the work of the program is done. In the case of an arrest alert system, examples of outcomes would be changed pretrial release or detention requests, plea recommendations, and sentencing recommendations (due to more available information), less crime, less re-offending, increased ability to prosecute cold cases, etc.
Once the logic model is constructed, an evaluator can use the model as a guide in developing a process and outcome evaluation.