JRA Collection

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A collection of resources supplementing course offerings in the Justice Research Academy.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 28
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    Final report: Process and outcome evaluation of the G.R.E.A.T. Program
    (U.S. Department of Justice, 2013) Esbensen, Finn-Aage; Osgood, Wayne; Peterson, Dana; Taylor, Terrance J.; Carson, Dena; Freng, Adrienne; Matsuda, Kristy
    In 2006, the University of Missouri-St. Louis was awarded a grant from the National Institute of Justice to determine what effect, if any, the G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) program had on students. G.R.E.A.T., which is a 13-lesson general prevention program taught by uniformed law enforcement officers to middle school students, has three stated goals: 1) to reduce gang membership, 2) to reduce delinquency, especially violent offending, and 3) to improve students’ attitudes toward the police. The process evaluation consisted of multiple methods to assess program fidelity: 1) observations of G.R.E.A.T. Officer Trainings, 2) surveys and interviews of G.R.E.A.T.-trained officers and supervisors, 3) surveys of school personnel, and 4)“on-site,” direct observations of officers delivering the G.R.E.A.T. program in the study sites. Results illustrate a high level of program fidelity, providing greater confidence in any subsequent outcome results. To assess program effectiveness, we conducted a randomized control trial involving 3,820 students nested in 195 classrooms in 31 schools in 7 cities. Active parental consent was obtained for 78% (3,820 students) of the students enrolled (11 percent of parents declined and 11 percent failed to return consent forms). These students were surveyed six times (completion rates were: 98%, 95%, 87%, 83%, 75%, and 72%).in the course of five years thereby allowing assessment of both short- and long-term program effects. Approximately half of the G.R.E.A.T. grade-level classrooms within each school were randomly assigned to experimental or control groups, with102 classrooms (2,051 students) assigned to receive G.R.E.A.T. and 93 classrooms (1,769 students) assigned to the control condition. Results from analyses of data one-year post-program delivery were quite favorable; we found statistically significant differences between the treatment (i.e., G.R.E.A.T.) and control students on 14 out of 33 attitudinal and behavioral outcomes. However, the question remained whether the program had long-term impacts that persisted into high school. To address this question, we continued to survey this group of students for three more years (most of the students were in 10th or 11th grade at the time of the last survey administration). The four-year post program analyses revealed results similar to the one-year post program effects, albeit with smaller effect sizes. Across four years post program 10 positive program effects were found, including lower odds of gang joining and more positive attitudes to police. [Author Abstract]
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    Best practices: Avoiding failures of Implementation - Lessons from process evaluations
    (Bureau of Justice Assistance, 2009) Cissner, Amanda B.; Farole, Donald J.
    The purpose of this paper is to identify lessons that will help practitioners and policymakers anticipate, recognize, and resolve problems that may arise when implementing new projects or attempting to replicate existing ones in new settings. It has been said that learning from your own mistakes is smart; learning from the mistakes of others is wise. We hope that this report can help smart criminal justice innovators become wise. [Author Abstract]
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    Exploring the black box of community supervision
    (Haworth Press, 2008) Bonta, James; Bourgon, Guy; Scott, Terri
    Community supervision has been an integral part of corrections since the establishment of probation more than 100 years ago. It has commonly been assumed that offenders benefit from community supervision much more than if they were incarcerated. However, empirical evidence in support of the effectiveness of community supervision in reducing recidivism questions this assumption. A detailed examination of audio taped interviews between 62 probation officers and their clients found relatively poor adherence to some of the basic principles of effective intervention–the principles of Risk, Need and Responsivity. For the most part, probation officers spent too much time on the enforcement aspect of supervision (i.e., complying with the conditions of probation) and not enough time on the service delivery role of supervision. Major criminogenic needs such as antisocial attitudes and social supports for crime were largely ignored and probation officers evidenced few of the skills (e.g., prosocial modeling, differential reinforcement) that could influence behavioral change in their clients. As a snapshot of present practices, this study begins a path to a systematic and structured training agenda to help probation officers become more effective agents of change. [Author Abstract]
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    The prognostic analogue of the propensity score
    (University of Michigan, 2007-03) Hansen, Ben B.
    The propensity score collapses the covariates of an observational study into a single measure summarizing their joint association with treatment conditions; prognostic scores summarize covariates’ association with potential responses. As with propensity scores, stratification on prognostic scores brings to uncontrolled studies a concrete and desirable form of balance, a balance that is more familiar as an objective of experimental control. Like propensity scores, prognostic scores can reduce the dimension of the covariate; yet causal inferences conditional on them are as valid as are inferences conditional only on the unreduced covariate. As a method of adjustment unto itself, prognostic scoring has limitations not shared with propensity scoring, but it holds promise as a complement to the propensity score, particularly in certain designs for which unassisted propensity adjustment is difficult or infeasible. [Author Abstract].
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    Comparing effect sizes in follow-up studies: ROC Area, Cohen’s d, and r
    (American Psychology-Law Society, 2005-10) Rice, Marnie E.; Harris, Grant T.
    In order to facilitate comparisons across follow-up studies that have used different measures of effect size, we provide a table of effect size equivalencies for the three most common measures: ROC area (AUC), Cohen’s d, and r. We outline why AUC is the preferred measure of predictive or diagnostic accuracy in forensic psychology or psychiatry, and we urge researchers and practitioners to use numbers rather than verbal labels to characterize effect sizes. [Author Abstract]