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NCJ Number: 157026 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluating Criminal Justice Programs: Using Policy as Well as Program Theory
Journal: Evaluation and Program Planning  Volume:17  Issue:2  Dated:(April-June 1994)  Pages:159-164
Author(s): D J Palumbo; R D Petersen
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 6
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article is the authors' attempt to integrate the theory-driven and constructionist approaches to program evaluation and to apply this integrated framework to criminal justice programs.
Abstract: In theory-driven program evaluation, the claim is that neglect of theory produces an evaluation that is a set of predetermined research steps that are uniformly and mechanically applied to various programs without concern for the theoretical implications of program content, setting, participants, implementing organizations, etc. The lack of theory means appropriateness of goals and possible unintended consequences of a program might never be considered. One example in criminal justice evaluation is shock incarceration, which is usually evaluated on how much it reduces recidivism of offenders or diverts offenders from prison. However, this approach ignores the extent to which the program supports the larger policy goal of getting tough on crime. The authors claim that using a social constructionist approach helps to disclose wider social interests underlying broad policy goals. They examine in some detail the social construction of intermediate sanctions. References
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Corrections; Courts; Criminal justice program evaluation; Criminology theory evaluation; Intermediate sanctions; Policy analysis; Shock incarceration programs
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