The Cautious Approach - Police cautions and the impact on youth reoffending This research paper examines the characteristics that impacted on a young person aged receiving a caution or a charge from police between 1 April and 31 Marchand their reoffending behaviour over the following 12 months. The publication can be found here.
Includes only those projects that had been completed and have been evaluated Source: Many project evaluations failed to distinguish between short, medium or long-term outcomes and therefore either focused entirely on outputs or made unsupported assertions about the impact of their work.
None of these findings are intended as specific criticisms of the managers of the funded projects, per se.
For example, respondents to a national survey of crime prevention professionals conducted as a part of the NCCPP review supported the view that, for the most part, community-based organisations have limited access to adequate support, lack the internal ability to undertake evaluation or the capacity to engage third parties to assist them in undertaking evaluation activities.
There were also concerns as to the extent to which organisations have access to useful information and resources to assist them in undertaking an evaluation. Many community-based organisations funded by the NCCPP and the POCA funding program reported having difficulties providing evidence of the effectiveness or otherwise of their crime prevention projects.
Meeting the requirements for evaluation was one of the common challenges identified by project managers in the qualitative surveys: Project managers reported difficulties accessing data on key outcomes such as recorded crime data for locations or individuals targeted by the project.
Project managers were not always sure how to collect data on outcomes for participants and empirically tested data collection tools eg participant questionnaires were not readily available to community-based organisations. Several community-based organisations reported that they did not have the technical skills or capacity to collect and analyse appropriate evidence, were not best placed to undertake the evaluation and required additional support and guidance from the funding body.
While many organisations endeavoured to contract external evaluators to evaluate their project, consultants were not always available, did not have the necessary subject matter knowledge or expertise, or were reluctant to be engaged for the life of the project for what amounted to a relatively small amount of funding.
Funding was short-term and non-recurring and for many projects especially those aiming to address the behaviour of individualsevidence of a reduction or delay in criminal activity may only start to emerge years after the funding and hence after the evaluation had ended.
There was some resistance to allocating resources to the evaluation, including investing time in regular data collection, instead of service delivery. Project managers were encouraged to allocate 10 percent of the overall project budget to evaluation, but some project managers reported spending large amounts of time and resources reporting on expenditure as part of the funding agreement—time that could have otherwise been allocated to evaluation.
This experience demonstrates that imposing conventional evaluation requirements on local organisations as a mandatory requirement within a project funding arrangement does not guarantee that project activities will be rigorously evaluated. Rather, it can increase resistance to evaluation because of the perceived additional administrative burden and may adversely impact upon the quality of service delivery.
Even when an evaluation has been successfully undertaken, another challenge for evaluators, policymakers and practitioners has been transferring the knowledge gained from research and evaluation into more effective crime prevention policy and practice.
For example, few of the evaluations produced by NCCPP funding recipients have been publicly released and those that have were not widely disseminated to other grant recipients. This is not uncommon for local crime prevention programs. As a result, ineffective projects are often replicated because of the lack of readily available evidence demonstrating that the chosen approach was not the most effective, or because there is insufficient evidence to convince decision makers Homel et al.
Recommendations for improving the level and quality of crime prevention evaluation These challenges are not insurmountable. Several recommendations for improving the level and quality of crime prevention evaluation in Australia are outlined in the remainder of this paper. These are divided into two sections—recommendations for program managers and central agencies, and recommendations for evaluators.
Recommendations for program managers and central agencies Improving the standard of evaluation requires a shift away from approaches that rely solely on encouraging local organisations to undertake potentially expensive and time consuming evaluations of their own work.
There is a need for program managers and central agencies to be more innovative and to rethink their approach to evaluation. Target evaluation at the areas where it will be of most benefit In many cases, the scale of a project, the total budget available and the existing evidence base mean that the type or level of evaluation that is frequently expected is not warranted or possible Eck ; Homel et al.
The National Crime Prevention Framework for Australia recommends that, where crime prevention policy involves a centralised program designed to support locally delivered initiatives, evaluation should be directed towards: Deciding which interventions should be subjected to more rigorous evaluation should be based on an assessment of the potential practical and policy significance of the findings, including gaps in the existing evidence base, as well as the potential for those intervention to be effectively evaluated Lipsey et al.
Consideration should be given to establishing a set of evaluation priority areas in consultation with the range of crime prevention key stakeholders within government agencies, the academic sector, local government and the community sector, such as those highlighted within the National Crime Prevention Framework AIC Future crime prevention programs could then reserve specific funding within the total program budget for the external evaluation of clusters of projects that address these priority areas commissioned and managed by the central agency.
This represents a more systematic approach to developing an evidence base on effective and ineffective crime prevention that is relevant to policymakers and practitioners.
It would also help free up project managers to focus on service delivery and performance managing their work. Monitor the performance of projects on a regular basis Even with a more targeted approach to evaluation, project managers still need to monitor the implementation and impact of their work—focusing evaluation on certain projects should not be at the expense of effective project management or accountability.
Rather, attempts to measure the impact of crime prevention efforts should involve a combination of both performance measurement and evaluation AIC Performance measurement refers to the process of regularly collecting and monitoring performance information in accordance with some type of agreed framework or criteriareviewing program performance ie using this information to assess whether a project is being implemented as planned and is meeting stated objectivesand using this information to identify where improvements might be made Home Office You may submit this form electronically or send via facsimile to () or via mail to the following address..
Uniform Crime Reports. Programs Support Section . The National Institute of Justice is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S.
Department of Justice. the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the Office for Victims of Crime; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Mary Poulin Carlton, Ph.D., is a Social Science Analyst for the NIJ Office of Research and Evaluation.
The Crime Statistics Agency regularly publishes research and evaluation papers on key topics in crime and criminal justice. Publications can be viewed by clicking on one of the topic areas below. Drug and alcohol use and crime.
The benefits of criminal justice data: Beyond policing. by Ryan Sibley. policy; May 1, pm many police departments report crime statistics to the FBI using a system called the National Incident Based Reporting System The Bureau of Justice Statistics describes it as “an effort aimed at generating nationally-representative.
The Juvenile Justice Information System (JJIS) Steering Committee publishes a series of annual reports prepared by the JJIS Data and Evaluation Committee, the JJIS Reports Team, and the Oregon Youth Authority's Research and Evaluation Unit.
The intent of these reports is to aid in the overall planning, development, and evaluation of programs designed to reduce juvenile crime.
Drawing upon a number of crime prevention capacity building projects undertaken by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), several recommendations to enhance the level and quality of crime prevention evaluation are proposed.