Steps in Evaluation Research of Criminal Law
Crime expansion and the need for prevention strategies among different communities have necessitated the urge to develop new strategies by criminal justice agency managers to implement effective policies. This has resulted in the development of evaluation research techniques and their subsequent importance in criminal justice policy and program implementation. (Bachman & Schutt, 2013) This scholarly activity focuses on the importance of evaluation research strategies in criminal justice and criminal law cadres.
Evaluation research and policy analysis in criminal justice inculcate the process of systematically analyzing the operations of a given program and whether the program is meets the desired outcome (Hagan, 2014). Steps involved in the evaluation research involve firstly, identification of program objectives and subsequently the evaluation questions. Secondly, develop a conceptual model and a logical framework. The third step involves designing an applicable evaluation methodology followed by conducting the actual evaluation. The final step involves analyzing the collected findings and disseminating the evaluation results.
The identified types of evaluation research have been categorized based on the intended goals. Impact evaluation examines to what extent the desired objectives of a given criminal justice policy have been met after a logical point has been reached. Monitoring evaluation focuses, mostly, on accountability purposes of allocated funds and involves real-time feedback of the policy outcomes. The interactive evaluation examines the policy implementation about desired formative emphasis. Clarification evaluation as the name suggestion tends to clarify the underlying rationale of the programs it bares the logic upon which the policy was based. Proactive evaluation is run before a given policy is implemented to identify the actual goal of the policy and to assist planners. (Bachman & Schutt, 2013) Efficacy of individual types involves a well-structured method including experimental and quasi-experimental methods, survey and naturalistic methods and ex-post facto methods.
In my preferred study, the most efficacious and appropriate evaluation type would involve a combination of some of the above-mentioned evaluation types. A combination of impact, monitoring, and interactive evaluation research types would be beneficial in providing a synergy in the data collected. This summative approach ensures a form of symbiotic evaluation research process, which ensures authenticity and validity in the evaluation of the criminal justice policy or program within my locality. An experimental design would be more suited for my study design to establish the causal relationship.
Criminal Justice Agency
The chief of police who oversees the administrative role of the entire department heads the local police department's organizational structure. The administrative assistant reports directly to the chief on matters administrative and the deputy chief serve as the immediate subordinate. The deputy chief oversees the training coordinator, community service liaison, equipment supply coordinator, and payroll administrator and accreditation officer. The other members of the administrative wing include detective bureau and the law enforcement commander's office. The job descriptions of each cadre are well defined, and each member plays a specific role in the running of the department.
The key informant would be the chief of police because of the overall administrative role he plays and the subsequent diversity to which his job description entails on matters involving criminal justice policies. The questions would include; Do you use evaluation research as a managerial tool; if so, in what capacity are those evaluation research managerial tools utilized and if not, why? To what extent do you use statistical analyses (which could be used to generate the findings related to evaluating the research) as a managerial tool? How has data generated from evaluation research impacted criminal policy implementation within the department? How applicable is evaluation research in examining criminal justice policies within the department? Do you recommend the implementation of evaluation research techniques in the criminal justice system, if so why and to what extent?
The possible outcomes form the interview posed to the chief of police would include an affirmative response that he uses evaluation research as an important tool in the daily running of the department policy especially in community policing programs. This serves as a tool to evaluate the impact and efficacy of community policing programs. He would further affirm that he uses statistical analysis as an important avenue to modify policing programs especially with statistical figures on crime reduction strategies. He would further cite examples policy evaluation and review within the department because of recommendations from evaluation research findings thus emphasizing the need for evaluation research techniques within the criminal justice system.
Application and Implications
The dominant theme from the informational interview emphasizes the importance of evaluation research techniques within the criminal justice system as an important tool for the managers. From the expected responses of the chief of police, it is evident that there is an emerging necessity of this technique in policy and program implementation. The expected findings demonstrate the necessity to increase awareness of this managerial tool among all the departments activities. This recommends the importance of these evaluation techniques in policy modification and evaluation.
The overlying outcome portrays that for proper fund utilization and criminal justice policy efficacy, evaluation research models developed and tested should be mandated within the criminal justice system. Therefore, this ensures cost-benefit efficacy within the target departments. State funding of policies should, mandate the use of evaluation research to minimize redundancies and subsequent cost wastes. Regular monitoring of the policies is important in ensuring the success of these programs (Maxfield, 2015). It is also evident that training agency managers on these evaluation research techniques should take precedence to ensure a smooth transition and implementation among law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, a national database should be established as this would positively impact the ease and efficacy with which the recommendations from different agencies are implemented on a national agencies.
The overlying theme demonstrates the subsequent importance of evaluation research strategies in policy implementation and program monitoring within the criminal justice system. It further emphasizes the necessity of proficiency of these techniques among criminal justice managers and the futuristic implications of these research techniques.
Bachman, R., & Schutt, R. K. (2013). The practice of research in criminology and criminal justice. Sage.
Hagan, F. (2014). Research methods in criminal justice and criminology (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
Maxfield, M. G. (2015). Basics of research methods for criminal justice and criminology. Cengage Learning.
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