Chris Baird retired from Evident Change as director of research in the organization’s Madison, Wisconsin, office at the end of 2012. Prior to serving in that role, Mr. Baird was executive vice president from 1985 to 2011. He has designed risk assessment, classification, and case management systems for child welfare, adult probation and parole, and juvenile justice systems. He developed and managed the National Institute of Corrections Model Probation and Parole program, which was implemented in 31 state agencies and hundreds of county probation departments throughout the United States. Mr. Baird served as principal investigator on several grants from the National Institute of Justice, including a comprehensive evaluation of the Florida Community Control Program. He served as a consultant to Annie E. Casey’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative and designed several detention screening instruments. From 1990 to 1997, he directed the former Children’s Research Center, which has developed risk assessment and decision-making systems used in child protective services (CPS) by more than 50 state and county agencies in the United States, Australia, and Canada. Mr. Baird and colleagues wrote a comprehensive evaluation of the decision-making system in Michigan, assessing its impact on subsequent abuse and neglect. He directed and authored a national study funded by the Office of Child Abuse and Neglect that compared CPS risk assessment systems in four jurisdictions and a national study funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention comparing the validity and reliability of risk assessments commonly used by juvenile justice systems.
Mr. Baird has authored numerous journal articles and other publications on research, program development, and management issues in child welfare, juvenile justice, and corrections. In 1992 he received the University of Cincinnati Award from the American Probation and Parole Association for outstanding research contributions to the field. In 2001, he and colleague Dennis Wagner received the Pro Humanitate Literary Award for The Relative Validity of Actuarial and Consensus-Based Risk Assessment Systems from the North American Resource Center for Child Welfare. In 2004 he received the Grace B. Flandreau Award for his contributions to child welfare. His educational background includes a master’s degree in economics.