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NCJ Number: 51648 Find in a Library
Title: WHAT'S NEW ABOUT POLICY ANALYSIS RESEARCH? (FROM POLICY STUDIES - REVIEW ANNUAL, V 2, 1978, BY HOWARD FREEMANSEE NCJ-51647)
Author(s): S NAGEL; M NEEF
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Ford Foundation
New York, NY 10017
Illinois Law Enforcement Cmssn (see Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority)

Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN DEDUCING POLICY EFFECTS AND OPTIMIZING POLICY ALTERNATIVES ARE DISCUSSED AND ILLUSTRATED BY EXAMPLES FROM THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE FIELD.
Abstract: POLICY ANALYSIS IS THE STUDY OF THE NATURE, CAUSES, AND EFFECTS OF ALTERNATIVE PUBLIC POLICIES. A NEW APPROACH INVOLVES THE DEDUCING OF EFFECTS OF ALTERNATIVE PUBLIC POLICIES BEFORE THEY ARE ADOPTED, AS CONTRASTED TO THE USUAL APPROACH OF EVALUATING POLICIES BEFORE AND AFTER THEY ARE ADOPTED. THIS APPROACH, CHARACTERIZED AS DEDUCTIVE MODELING, INVOLVES DRAWING CONCLUSIONS ABOUT POLICY EFFECTS FROM EMPIRICALLY TESTED PREMISES ALTHOUGH THE CONCLUSIONS HAVE NOT NECESSARILY BEEN TESTED EMPIRICALLY. THIS KIND OF DEDUCTIVE MODELING GENERALLY TAKES ONE OF THREE FORMS: GROUP DECISIONMAKING, BILATERAL DECISIONMAKING, OR INDIVIDUAL DECISIONMAKING. AN ILLUSTRATION OF THE GROUP DECISIONMAKING MODEL INVOLVES DETERMINING THE IMPACT OF JURY SIZE ON PROBABILITY OF CONVICTION. THE BILATERAL DECISIONMAKING MODEL CAN BE EMPLOYED TO DETERMINE THE EFFECT OF INCREASING THE PRETRIAL RELEASE RATE ON THE PRETRIAL JAIL POPULATION, AND THE INDIVIDUAL DECISIONMAKING MODEL CAN BE EMPLOYED TO DETERMINE THE EFFECT ON JUDICIAL BEHAVIOR OF PUBLICIZING JUDICIAL PROPENSITIES. A SECOND NEW APPROACH IN POLICY ANALYSIS INVOLVES DETERMINING AN OPTIMUM POLICY OR COMBINATION OF POLICIES FOR ACHIEVING A GOAL OR SET OF GOALS. THIS EVALUATIVE APPROACH CAN BE CONTRASTED WITH THE MORE COMMON SITUATION WHERE POLICIES ARE ACCEPTED AS GIVEN AND THE RESEARCHER ATTEMPTS TO DETERMINE HOW WELL THEY ARE ACHIEVING THEIR DESIRED EFFECTS. MODELS FOR OPTIMIZING ALTERNATIVE PUBLIC POLICIES ARE CLASSIFIED AS FOLLOWS: FINDING AN OPTIMUM POLICY LEVEL WHERE DOING TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE MAY BE UNDESIRABLE; FINDING AN OPTIMUM POLICY MIX WHERE SCARCE RESOURCES NEED TO BE ALLOCATED; AND FINDING AN OPTIMUM POLICY CHOICE AMONG DISCRETE ALTERNATIVES, ESPECIALLY UNDER CONDITIONS OF UNCERTAINTY. AN EXAMPLE OF DETERMINING AN OPTIMUM POLICY LEVEL INVOLVES OBTAINING THE OPTIMUM PERCENT OF DEFENDANTS TO BE HELD IN JAIL PRIOR TO TRIAL. AN ILLUSTRATION OF FINDING THE OPTIMUM MIX INVOLVES DETERMINING THE OPTIMUM ALLOCATION BETWEEN LAW REFORM ACTIVITIES AND ROUTINE CASE HANDLING IN LEGAL SERVICE AGENCIES FUNDED BY THE U.S. OFFICE OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY. DETERMINING THE OPTIMUM POLICY CHOICE IS ILLUSTRATED BY THE PROBLEM OF HOW A JUROR SHOULD VOTE CONCERNING A GIVEN DEFENDANT AND HOW JURORS SHOULD BE INSTRUCTED TO MAXIMIZE OBJECTIVITY. THE TWO NEW APPROACHES RELATE BACK TO THE CONCERNS FOR LOGICAL AND NORMATIVE ANALYSIS FOUND IN TRADITIONAL SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY, AND THEY REPRESENT METHODOLOGICAL AND CONCEPTUAL CONTRIBUTIONS FROM VARIOUS RELATED DISCIPLINES. FIGURES ILLUSTRATE SEVERAL OF THE MODELS, AND A SHORT BIBLIOGRAPHY IS INCLUDED. (KJM)
Index Term(s): Decisionmaking; Evaluation techniques; Models; Objectives; Policy analysis; Research and development; Research methods
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51648

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