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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 82681 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation in the Criminal Justice Services
Author(s): W Clifford
Corporate Author: Australian Institute of Criminology
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 57
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This study uses examples of evaluations conducted in several countries to demonstrate the results, benefits, and limitations of criminal justice services evaluation.
Abstract: Evaluation is a necessary and useful way of assessing policymaking. However, evaluation is both an art and a science. Not only the data but the underlying assumptions must be carefully interpreted. Evaluation is a constant process, whether conscious or unconscious, and activities can be assessed even where nonquantifiable values are involved. Programs and projects should be designed to permit evaluation of their effectiveness, significance, efficiency, compliance with the original design, and unanticipated effects. Evaluators recognize the need for quantitative measures of performance as well as the difficulty of developing such measures. Many issues have not been resolved by evaluation: police effectiveness in controlling crime, the value of management procedures in police departments and prisons, the benefits of differing allocations of police resources, and the role of corrections. However, evaluations of a number of vital issues indicate that added probation resources do not affect reconviction rates, the quality of prison life varies greatly across States, crime control is not simply a matter of police manpower, rapid police response does not necessarily affect arrest rates, and extra lighting may reduce street crime. Evaluators should be aware of the variables involved in ongoing and retrospective evaluations, as well as political factors in all evaluations. Footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Evaluation; Evaluative research; Program evaluation
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