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NCJ Number: 97929 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluating Correctional Programs - The Case for Qualitative Research
Journal: Crime and Justice  Volume:7/8  Issue:3/4  Dated:(1979/1980)  Pages:198-208
Author(s): J H Hylton
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 11
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: It is argued that correctional outcome studies using quantitative methods have limited utility in evaluating correctional programs and that the potential of qualitative research has not been realized.
Abstract: The use of recidivism rates and a bias in favor of experimental designs has proved an unfortunate combination. Recidivism rates are not sensitive to changes produced by correctional programs; experimental designs may confound program effects and lead researchers to focus on average differences in some outcome measures. As corrections evaluation studies often aim at discovering ways to increase program effectiveness, a qualitative methodology focusing on process rather than outcome and using participant observation and interview techniques appears to have great merit. This approach was used in a study of the Saskatchewan Community Training Residence Program (Canada). The program's objective was to reintegrate offenders into the community, particularly through job placement. An examination of the program's objectives, policies, and practices made it possible to identify areas of inconsistency and areas in need of improvement. While no single method of program evaluation will be best in every situation, qualitative approaches appear to offer great potential rewards. Provided are 64 references.
Index Term(s): Corrections effectiveness; Criminal justice research; Program evaluation; Research methods; Saskatchewan
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