Division of Criminal Justice Services

A Guide to Developing Goals and Objectives for Your Program


Goal: A measurable statement of the desired longer-term, global impact of the program.

Objective: A specific, measurable statement of the desired immediate or direct outcomes of the program Remember that your objectives should support your goal (i.e., the accomplishment of objectives leads to the overall accomplishment of goals).

Writing Measurable Goals and Objectives

Defined as the ABC's of Writing Goals and Objectives

A. Audience: What is the target population for which the desired outcome is intended?

B. Behavior: Simply put - "What?' A clear statement of the behavior changes/results expected.

C. Condition: When? Under what circumstances will the result come about (e.g.,by a given date, 'after full implementation of the program', etc.)

D. Degree: By how much? Use baselines measurements to start, and realistic benchmarks for progress Not all programs will have baseline data to start with for hard, quantitative assertions. It is important, however, to adjust goal and objective statements in subsequent funding years, after baseline and benchmark data becomes available.

E. Evidence: By what measure? Each grant carries a requirement for evaluation. In what way will you measure the program's progress? (e.g., via surveys, statistics measured against available baseline data)

F. Forward: Move on to defining the tasks associated with each objective

An Example Using the ABC's of Goal Writing

A. Audience: The residents of Ourtown, NY

B. Behavior: Reduce the incidence of crime and vandalism within the Town

C. Condition: After implementation of the program

D. Degree: 10% drop in local crime rates; 50% drop in local vandalism; 50% increase in perceived neighborhood safety

E. Evidence: As measured by Ourtown Police arrest statistics and the observable incidence of graffiti and vandalism, and by a resident survey to be distributed prior to implementation, and again after the first year of the program. Complete Goal Statement: The residents of Ourtown, NY will reduce the incidence of crime in Ourtown by 10%, and vandalism by 50%, and increase resident perception of neighborhood safety by 50%, after implementation of a Community Crime Prevention Program, as measured by Ourtown police records and a pre- and post- program resident satisfaction survey.

F. Forward: Move on to defining your objectives, and the tasks associated with each objective. For example, one objective might be to reduce graffiti in the Town, with associated tasks being building washing and/or repainting, the repair of vandalized storefronts, etc.Another objective might be to increase neighborhood awareness of crime, with tasks such as informational meetings between residents and police officials, or the printing and distribution of a local 'crime watch' bulletinalerting residents to suspicious persons or recent occurrences of vandalism.