Criminal Justice for Possible Outcome 2 Two Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Criminal Justice

For Possible Outcome 2, two groups in a population have been subjected to different treatments. One group served as the control group and was not given the opportunity to engage in an educational program that featured the study of human rights violations. However, the group was given course credit for watching a series of films on nature. The second group watched films that dealt with the Holocaust, Darfur, Rwanda, and the famines in eastern Africa. The groups randomly selected from the prison population, but were not randomly selected for the groups. Both groups had been in the prison facility an average of five years. Both groups were surveyed before watching any films, following each film and at the completion of the courses to measure the effect of the film on the subjects' empathy scores using standardized instruments. Mean scores of empathy ratings were charted below, with the blue line showing the mean scores of the treatment group and the green line showing the mean scores of the control group. The control group showed very little to moderate change in their empathy scores as a result of exposure to the nature films. The treatment group showed increases in their empathy scores with each subsequent film, and their overall empathy score increased to a greater degree than did that of the control group.

For Possible Outcome 5, two groups in a population were subjected to the same treatment. Both groups watched films that featured human rights issues, particularly with a focus on women and children. The control group consisted of prisoners who had convictions of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual abuse of minors, and sexual predation. The treatment group consisted of prisoners who were convicted of non-violent crimes that did not have any features of sexual predation or sexual deviancy. Subjects in both groups completed surveys before watching any films, following each film, and at the completion of the series of films. Mean scores of empathy ratings were charted below, with the blue line showing the mean scores of the treatment group and the green line showing the mean scores of the control group. The control group reported having moderate levels of empathy throughout the series of films, but overall change of empathy was not observed. The treatment group reported having lower empathy in the initial survey than did the control group, but overall, the empathy scores of the treatment group were significantly higher than the stable empathy scores of the control groups.

In Chapter 2, the authors discuss research on crime prevention policies from a position that considers the contexts in which crime occurs and the contexts in which punishment for crime occurs. They use words like "effect" and "duration," indicating that they understand the variables that influence program implementation success. Further, the authors also point out the importance of interdependency in policy analysis and implementation research. They argue that several factors must be considered in order to make recommendations about the profitability or payback periods of crime prevention policy decision. That their approach to policy analysis is based on sound empirical practices is evident in their statement that, "Crime prevention policies are not delivered in a vacuum." Nor should policy implementation research.

In the Appendix, the authors explain the scientific rigor of the process they adopted for their analysis. Programs and practices were selected on the basis of demonstrating that they were conceptually coherent and could be made subject to evaluation. This clarity enabled them to be confident that the definitions of the independent variables were constructed in clear language with would contribute to reliability and validity. For a program to be considered evidence-based, the authors looked for demonstrations of effectiveness. If evidence of effectiveness could not be identified, the authors considered the availability and level of resources that were expended on a category of programs and practices. Categorically, the two groups (evidence-based and resource-based) were treated differently.

Articles of Interest

"The Academy of Experimental Criminology: Advancing Randomized Trials in Crime and Justice," by David Weisburd (Hebrew University and University of Maryland, Lorraine Mazerolle (Griffith University) & Anthony Petrosino (Learning Innovations at WestEd). This article was of interest to me because I was curious about how scientists might "sell" the idea of randomized trials to both…

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