Health Justice. 2022 Jun 9;10(1):19. doi: 10.1186/s40352-022-00182-w.
BACKGROUND: Fidelity assessment tools can assess whether a program embraces a core set of principles and performs well. A quality fidelity tool with valid scales can be a feedback loop to identify areas that need further work to improve the program. Using data collected from 1816 correctional and reentry programs in the United States in the construction sample and 761 programs in the confirmation sample, this study examined the internal consistency of the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) Program Tool, an online resource to capture information about structural features of a program.
RESULTS: The study reports on reliability statistics and factor analyses to highlight individual subscales. Six scales emerged and had acceptable to excellent levels of internal consistency. These scales are staffing, reward-and-sanction, clinical standards for programs, coaching, program duration, and risk-need assessment.
CONCLUSIONS: This article discusses fidelity scales from the RNR Program Tool and provides guidance on the importance of tool development processes to ensure accurate, valid, and reliable scales. The purpose of the RNR Program Tool is to create a modern, online tool integrating both the empirical (research) literature on effective practices and clinical standards on quality programming. This process minimizes the need for consultants by giving program administrators the ability to gather information on their programs, score them, and receive instant and targeted feedback with recommendations for improvement to assess their programs against empirical standards in the field. Furthermore, it provides a standardized tool that administrators can use to examine what type of individuals fare better in their programs. The provided targeted feedback can give the programs the ability to seek technical assistance or guidance in specific areas that can strategically strengthen their program.