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NCJ Number: 221833 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluating Offending Behaviour Programmes: Does Only Randomization Glister?
Journal: Criminology and Criminal Justice  Volume:8  Issue:1  Dated:February 2008  Pages:89-106
Author(s): Clive R. Hollin
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 18
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the use of randomized control trials (RCTs) in the evaluation of the Offending Behavior Pathfinder Programs in the United Kingdom.
Abstract: It is argued that the Home Office ‘Reconviction Scale’, favoring RCTs, is seriously flawed and is used to present a misleading view of the extant research. An overview of the larger literature shows that RCTs are not uniformly agreed to be the single design of choice in evaluating complex interventions such as the Offending Behavior Pathfinder Programs. The trend in disciplines, such as the clinical sciences, with a history steeped in RCTs, is to utilize a range of research designs, not limited to just one, both quantitative and qualitative, to evaluate complex interventions. In summation, evidence based on RCTs has an important place, but to adopt concepts from only one body of knowledge is to neglect the contribution that other, well-established methodologies can make. Despite considerable investment there has been a marked reluctance by the Home Office to publish the evaluations of the various Pathfinder Programs. It is argued that this reluctance comes from the official view that the commissioned researchers conducted the wrong type of research, specifically in not using RCTs. This paper examines the utility of RCTs with particular reference to the evaluation of the Pathfinder Programs. Two issues considered are would RCTs really produce definitive evidence with regard to the evaluation of offending behavior programs and would the evidence from RCTs be significantly different to that produced by quasi-experimental studies in the context of offending behavior programs? Tables, references
Main Term(s): Offenders; Program evaluation
Index Term(s): Behavior modification; Evaluation measures; Evaluation techniques; Evaluative research; Problem behavior; Testing and measurement; United Kingdom (UK)
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