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PA DOC's Bucklen Receives National Practitioner Research Award


​Harrisburg, PA -- Dr. Kristofer “Bret” Bucklen, director of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ Bureau of Planning, Research & Statistics, recently was awarded with the Practitioner Research Award from the American Society of Criminology (ASC) Division of Corrections and Sentencing.  Bucklen and his Chief of Research and Evaluation, Dr. Nicolette Bell, accepted the award on behalf of the DOC at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C. 

“Since I began serving as DOC secretary in 2011, I have relied regularly and heavily on Bret’s research and statistical knowledge and skills,” Secretary John Wetzel said.  “Bret and his team are adept at using the best statistical tools and research designs in order to determine criminal justice trends and evaluate outcomes.  It is because of the work of his office that the Pennsylvania DOC continues to be a leader in many areas, specifically in the use of research to help determine, set and monitor corrections policies and practices.”
The ASC award is granted for a specific publication or piece of research work.  In Dr. Bucklen’s case, the award involved a team effort for the DOC’s State Intermediate Punishment (SIP) 2015 Performance Report. 
Specific to the SIP report, the voting committee believed the report represented a well-executed piece of internal agency research that relied on sound outcome evaluation methods to assess the effectiveness and cost benefits of the SIP program.  The research is directly relevant to informing program improvement and is presented in a clear and visually appealing format for policymakers to digest.
The DOC’s State Intermediate Punishment Report can be viewed on the DOC’s website at, under “Statistics” and then “Reports”; or by clicking here. 
Dr. Bucklen has been the director of the DOC’s Bureau of Planning, Research & Statistics since 2011. He began his full-time employment with the DOC as a research and evaluation analyst in 2001.  Prior to working for the DOC, he was employed in the Pennsylvania Management Associate program under the Governor’s Office of Administration, where he worked for and rotated through the following state agencies: the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Justice Network (JNET) Project.  Dr. Bucklen received his M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy, and his Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland.

The ASC is an international organization whose members pursue scholarly, scientific and professional knowledge concerning the measurement, etiology, consequences, prevention, control and treatment of crime and delinquency.  Their membership includes students, practitioners and academicians from the many fields of criminal justice and criminology.  The Practitioner Research Award is intended to recognize an outstanding research effort that informs public policy by a researcher or group of researchers who work for a government agency.

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