Consulting Overview

Kelly’s consulting expertise has afforded him the opportunity to collaborate in the development, implementation and evaluation of a wide variety of justice related initiatives and programs.  These include, but are not limited to diversion courts, problem solving prosecution, in-prison and probation treatment programs, problem solving probation, law enforcement crime prevention and crime reduction strategies, collaborative sentencing, parole release decisions, specialized probation caseloads, swift and certain sanction courts (the HOPE Court model), and mental health and substance abuse screening, assessment and treatment both inside and outside of the justice system.  He also has extensive experience working with a large number of local, state and federal agencies as well as various stakeholder groups with an interest in justice policy and programs.

Dr. Kelly brings a unique perspective to his consulting projects. He has extensive real world experience working with practitioners and policy makers, and a keen understanding of how to collaborate with those in the trenches and navigate and negotiate the policy and program development process.  Additionally, he has an extensive understanding of the scientific research evidence regarding what works and relative cost/benefit, as well as how to develop and implement effective, cost efficient programs, practices and procedures. His evaluation expertise relies on scientifically rigorous and valid procedures for assessing both processes and outcomes.


Consulting Services

The consulting services that Dr. Kelly provides include: Policy and Program Evaluation; Program Needs Assessment, Design, and Implementation; Stakeholder Collaboration Strategies; Public Speaking; and Expert Witness Consulting and Testimony.


Policy and Program Evaluation

Dr. Kelly’s evaluation experience and expertise range from macro level, big picture justice policy assessment and evaluation, to micro level process and outcome evaluations of specific programs and services.  He utilizes both qualitative and quantitative approaches.  Quantitative approaches include descriptive statistical analysis as well as more sophisticated correlation and regression analysis and survival analysis, among others.  Qualitative methods include face-to-face interviews, focus group discussions, and observation.

Kelly’s philosophy about evaluation research is that it is an opportunity for learning and improvement. It is is a tool that serves to inform policy makers and practitioners regarding how to enhance or improve processes, outcomes and cost efficiency.


Program Needs Assessment, Design, and Implementation

Needs assessment, or gap analysis, is designed to address the question of what’s missing? What would improve criminal justice outcomes in this jurisdiction?  How can we improve the flow of cases and mitigate bottlenecks?  How can we reduce recidivism overall or for particular offender segments?  How do we improve cost efficiency?

It has often been the case that local jurisdictions undertake a new policy or program simply because someone else has done so.  There is sometimes insufficient regard for whether it is necessary in the first place.  If it is, other critical considerations include what characteristics are unique to local jurisdictions that require modification of the design. What is the appropriate scale or  capacity, and who needs to be involved in developing, launching and operating it?  How does this initiative fit into the bigger picture of criminal justice in a community? These are just some of the design related questions that go a long way in informing more successful policy and program initiatives.

The starting place for designing and developing programming is the scientific evidence in support of effectiveness and cost efficiency.  Again however, it may not make sense to simply replicate what is being done in some other jurisdiction.  Laws differ, resources differ, politics differ, and there are often different competing interests.  Failure to understand and appreciate local circumstances can be a fatal flaw in program design and development.  When modification is required, it should balance local needs and circumstances on the one hand and fidelity to the model on the other.


Stakeholder Collaboration Strategies

One of the significant challenges to designing, developing and implementing effective policies and programs is being able to navigate local interests and politics, including assuring that all appropriate and relevant stakeholder groups are at the table and vested in the process and the outcome.  Dr. Kelly has been very successful in working with a variety of legislative organizations, such as city councils, county government and state legislatures, and other community stakeholder groups in developing and implementing justice policies and programs.  Central to accomplishing this is asking and listening.  Understanding the various concerns and how they can be mitigated is key to a successful collaborative effort.


Public Speaking

Dr. Kelly is an engaging public speaker who has considerable experience addressing a variety of audiences on a range of justice issues.  He is able to effectively communicate the issues to all kinds of audiences including neighborhood groups, bar associations, practitioner conferences, local and state legislative agencies, professional organizations, researcher and academic associations, and more.  He is able to speak to big picture justice policy issues as well as the specifics of  particular policies and programs.  His public speaking is intended to inform and enhance interest in the issues/problems and potential solutions.


Expert Witness Consulting and Testimony

Dr. Kelly also has considerable experience and expertise serving as an expert witness in a variety of matters, including testifying at sentencing hearings, litigation over alleged discriminatory police and prosecution practices, premises liability cases involving third party crime, and other, crime-related or criminal justice-related civil litigation and administrative procedures.


An illustrative list of consulting clients is available upon request. For further inquiries, please send an e-mail to