Evaluation Methods

Evaluation Methods




August 02, 2011

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Evaluation Methods

Conviction Offense and Prison Violence

This article is a research on the correlation of inmates to misconducts of violence in the in various kinds of sentences. The research examined 51,527 inmates in the Florida Department of Corrections, among which 9,586 were inmates convicted on counts of homicide. The research sought to find out whether convicted murderers were more likely to commit violent acts in prison than other offenders were used data from Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) on past cases of violence to evaluate the potential of inmates likely to cause more violence in the prison (Sorensen & Cunningham, 2010. pp 103).

The method of evaluation used was collecting of three samples, the first being computerized files from the FDOC  that contained demographic, conviction offences, sentences issued, and institutional information concerning all incarcerated inmates as of 1st January 2003 and had already served one year. The inmates examined were diverse it was a stock population that included a broad spectrum of offences at different stages of their sentence. More still, the examined prisoners were serving their sentences at different custody levels such as community and close custody levels. The second sample was a repetition of examination of inmates entering year 2002, for comparison with those entering in 2003. This was a number of 14,088 admission cohorts that included a smaller portion of murderers, inmates with short time from finishing their sentence, and those under low custody levels. This was for comparing how likely the inmates at different levels of custody, sentence, offences and new to prison were prone to violence. A third sample was selected that included close custody inmates from the admission cohorts. This aimed at finding the influence of custody level where the inmates were classified as community, minimum, medium, or close, which defines the security level. This was meant to determine the level at which violence is higher in prisons.

The research contributed to a big part in the subsequent policy development concerning the issue under study, which was how prone to violence in prison homicide inmates were compared to others. This research developed a policy that punishment for misconduct in prison reduced violence rate by far, where misconducts committed were those without serious consequences to the prisoner. Some of the punishment that came with violence was a longer sentence, and changing level of custody to ensure there is no likelihood of repeating what happened. The research provided a correlation data that helped in determining what influences violence in the prisons, hence providing a base for coming up with a measure to counter the violent misconducts.

Violent Girls or Relabeled Status Offenders

The article focuses on the trend of arrests and confinement of both boys and girls below the legal age due to minor and provoked assaults for past quarter century. The article has put focus on the increasing level of girls involved in violence, which may be because of changing parental responsibility and attitudes and changes in gender responsibilities that have changed the behavior of girls where they feel equal to boys. The evaluation methods used involve analyzing the historical differences of the juvenile justice systems for comparison with the current systems, an evaluation of the 1974 federal juvenile justice and delinquency prevention act and finally an analysis of the arrest data of the juvenile. The research continues to compare the differences of boys and girls arrests and what is likely to affect girls’ arrests. Finally, the research addresses partners of incarcerations between the boys and girls (Feld, 2009. pp. 260).

Analyzing historical differences serves to illustrate the trend that has taken place in the past quarter century. This has been supported with statistical data illustrating the differences in the arrests made for boys and girls for a period that is long enough to provide a trend. The trend of girls arrested over simple assaults continues to rise while that of boys decreases. The article uses the statistical data to illustrate the trend in juvenile arrests that have happened in the past years to illustrate the trend.

The analysis or the trend in juvenile arrests has contributed a big part in enlightening people about the issues that needs correction in order to address the needs of the girls, rather than just protecting them. With this analysis, formulating the needed changes in the juvenile system would be easy considering that it is comprehensive and has conclusion that is reliable considering the data used came from sources concerned with the juvenile cases.

A Descriptive Analysis of Transitional Housing Programs

At many times when violence between intimate people occurs, women are most affected considering that most are left homeless. This article has focused on this study saying that it is important that these women are provided with better ways of having their houses or else they will return to their partners  due to lack of an alternative. This study aims at describing a sample of the Transitional Housing Programs (THP) that included their convenience in terms of sources of funds, eligibility, their characteristics, exclusionary criteria and services provided in the houses for the women and their children (Baker, Niolon, & Oliphant, 2009. pp. 461).

The methods of evaluation involved a collection of 236 samples of THP, in each of the 15 states from where the data was collected (Baker, Niolon, & Oliphant, 2009. pp. 464). Two methods of data collection were used, which are collection of data from archival material from websites, and the second was through telephone interviews with executive directors of the THPs in the various states and regions. To find out about the THPs, a general form was made meant to provide four categories of information about the program. The first was the general characteristics such as a permanent or temporary house, the maximum allowed time for temporary, whether the urban, suburban, rural, and how many families could be accommodated by the program. The second type of information that the form sought was the funding sources, such as funding from the federal government, state government, private organizations, individuals, and what percentage each of them contributed. The third kind of information sought was eligibility requirements that women needed in order to acquire a house under this program. The kind of eligibility questions were dependent children on the women, history of intimate Partner Violence, whether currently homeless, among others to be sure the woman deserves. The fourth information required was the kind of services offered to the women and their children.

The research has found that new developments are needed considering not all needy women are covered by the programs. The research has indicated that some areas in this study requiring research are regional differences in the transitional programs. The research says that future studies about these differences would help in understanding how the variables affect housing programs. The research has provided an insight on the issues that need to be addressed to increase access of homeless women to houses to achieve their goals of building themselves and contributing to the economic development considering it has done a comprehensive study of several states in the different regions.

Determining What Works for Girls in the Juvenile Justice System

The article focuses on reviewing the effectiveness of the programs that target girls that are involved in the justice system. The article reviews evaluation evidence concerning the gender-specific programs dealing with girls, and then reviews gender-non-specific programs giving focus to their effectiveness (Zahn, Day, Mihalic, & Tichavsky, 2009. pp 267). At the end, the article provides a recommendation of making a stronger evidence base for girls. The methodology of evaluation involved a search of five federal websites such as National Institute of Justice, Health, Substance Abuse among others. Then a search for juvenile justice for three-year plan was searched from all states.

The research in this article is evaluated through comparing the programs to the actual outcome to access whether it was effective or not. The goals of the program are first identified and put down in the table, and then the outcomes are put on the adjacent side giving a clear evaluation of the extent to which the program has been effective through supporting it with statistical data. For instance, the “Working to Insure and Nature Girl’s Success” (WINGS) program whose aim is to use alternative probation measures such as home visitations and center based services to ensure that girls are able to complete their school and reduce the likelihood of indulging in criminal activities. The outcomes of this program are reduced cases of girls likely to drop out of school where it is stated that 70% are likely to attend school on a regular basis (Zahn, Day, Mihalic, & Tichavsky, 2009. pp 270). The results also look at the rate at which the girls who went under this program are likely to be suspended or expelled from school, to access the effectiveness of the program in keeping the girls at school. The girls who went through this program were compared with another group that did not to check the difference among them whether it is positive or negative to determine effectiveness. More still, the girls were assessed at different intervals after attending the program such as 6 and 12 months interval to be sure that the program had a long tern effect. the methodology involved a comparison group of girls for gender-specific programs such as the WINGS, and Holistic Enrichment for At-Risk Teens (HEART), with girls who attended these programs.

The results of this research have showed that the gender-specific groups have been implemented but their success is minimal in achieving their goals considering the comparison is quite narrow, suggesting that they are not effective. It is evident that this research has found a reason for evaluation of the programs considering that most have not been reviewed and it needs evaluation to come up with ways of improving them. However, the gender-non-specific programs have been equally good to both genders in preventing arrests suggesting that more research about the gender-specific programs needs to be checked thoroughly.


All the articles have used different methodologies of evaluating the study involved with most of them using comparison to original data from other sources. The first article has used demographic data collected from other sources to draw an analysis that gives a clear correlation. The second article follows the same method of analyzing demographic data to show the trend in the juvenile system. The third article has compared several programs used and their effectiveness using chi-square tests for comparison and interpretation of the data. The fourth article uses the same methodology where it takes several programs into comparison to determine their effectiveness in relation to their intended purpose or goals. The articles have contributed to development of policies in their studies through providing a light a bout the issues in the particular studies.

Baker, K., Niolon, P.H., and Oliphant, H. (2009). A Descriptive Analysis of Transitional Housing Programs for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence in the United States. Violence Against Women, 15 (4): 460-481.

Sorensen, J and Cunningham, M.D. (2010). Conviction Offense and Prison Violence: A Comparative Study of Murderers and Other Offenders. Crime & Delinquency, 56 (1): 103-125.

Feld, B.C. (2009). Violent Girls or Relabeled Status Offenders? An Alternative Interpretation of the Data. Crime & Delinquency, 55 (2): 241-265.

Zahn, M.A., Day, J.C., Mihalic, S.F., and Tichavsky, L. (2009). Determining What Works for Girls in the Juvenile Justice System: A Summary of Evaluation Evidence. Crime & Delinquency, 55 (2): 266-293.



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