The chosen studies are "conviction offense and Prison Violence" by Sorrensen and Cunningham (2008), "Violence against women" by Baker, Niolon and Oliphan (2009), "Determine what works for girls in the Juvenile Justice system" by Zhan, Richavsky and Mihalic (2009) and "Violent girls and relabeled status offenders" by Feld (2009).
Description and Credibility of Methodologies Used
The four studies have been carefully selected to present the variation in the evaluation methods of these papers. In the study conducted by Baker, Niolon and Oliphan (2009), the authors aimed to formulate a 'descriptive analysis of transitional housing programs for survivors of intimate partner violence in the U.S.'. In this study it was imperative to analyze the current situation of domestic violence against women, in order to make recommendations. For this purpose, the methodology used in this paper is to access the transitional housing programs (THPs). The researchers of this study collected date from THPS in fifteen states using telephonic interviews with relevant personal and data retrieval from their official records. The selected method of research signifies that information gathered can be considered to be very reliable as, all sources are credible and reputable. Since the resources of this study were limited, the authors had to restrict their study to just fifteen states. The chosen states were selected based on a diverse group of large and small metropolitan areas and rural areas. This was an important step as commentators believe that the violence against women varies according to different regions and demographic (e.g. rural and urban). Moreover, there are two more selection criteria for the chosen researches; THPs must be exclusively for survivors of domestic violence and it should have a research period of at least six months. The collected data was analyzed using tests and ANOVA.
The overall findings of this paper can be considered to be very accurate and reliable for the chosen 15 states. However, still some apprehensions can be associated with extending this research to all the states in United States, as budgetary restrictions of this studies has disenabled it to be a generic study (Baker, Niolon and Oliphan, 2009).
The second study conducted by Sorrensen and Cunningham (2008) is on prison misconduct and violence. The nature of this study was as such that it required the researchers to conduct interviews with prison inmates and develop a statistical analysis of the research topic. This study was restricted to Florida and all data acquired was from Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC). The significant step in the chosen methodology was to conduct the study using different samples. The researchers gave importance to this and used three different samples of inmates to investigate the issue.
The methodology was based on a few criterions to make the research more credible. For instance, only those inmates were interviewed, who were serving their sentence for at least one year? This made their "at-risk" period to be at least one year. Moreover, the authors attempted to use a diverse group of inmates, to integrate different possibilities for increased violence. The authors also carefully assessed the variables that might affect an inmate's behavior. Few of these factors comprised of the age of the entering inmates, problems to adjust to life in a prison, duration of their sentence and the severity of their crime. The consideration of these factors in the data collection stage has made the findings of the researcher more credible. In total three samples were taken, based on variation of the above mentioned factors. For instance, in one sample the inmates serving a sentence of 10 years are more than in other sample groups (Cunningham and Sorensen, 2008)
The findings of the report show a noticeable pattern of frequent violence among inmates charged with murder. The decision to use different samples and form a correlation between them was a good one, as well as the results of the paper indicates specific observations. The findings of this paper can be considered to be very credible.
The third study was prepared by Zahn, Day, Mihalic and Tichavsky (2009) and aimed to evaluate the factors that influence the behaviors of girls in Juvenile Justice System. The research topic was fairly unexplored before conducting this research; hence, the researchers of this study were not entirely certain which methodology will give them the most accurate results. They decided to use the method of reviewing the programs that target girls and boys in juvenile justice system.
The researcher examined gender-specific programs, which was based on a multistep research. Most of the data collected in this method was through official government web sites, such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institute of Justice. The researchers narrowed the scope of their research by placing few criterions on their selection. The duration of their sample was restricted between the fall of 2006 to spring of 2007, as it allowed them to observe a number of patterns within a specific time frame. Once their research was completed, the authors had one-hundred and eight programs and they examined all of them. The initial list was further cut down to sixty two to further narrow down the scope of the research. These sixty two programs analyzed girls that suffered from drug use, gang involvement and prostitution (Zahn, Mihalic and Tichavsky, 2009).
The selected programs were further cut down, based on the method used in them. Unfortunately, the number of selected programs was still very large and it did not focus on a specific category. Correspondingly, the findings of this paper presented a lot of variation among the various programs and it failed to come up with a definitive solution to the research question. Hence, it can be concluded that the method used in this paper was not very accurate and lacked a specific direction.
The fourth paper was prepared by Feld (2009) and it aimed to investigate the high rate of increase in female offenders and find the reasons behind it. Before the study began, various commentators presented different theories for the rise in crime rate in girls but none supported it with concrete evidence. However, the variation in these theories made the task of the researchers very difficult as they has to first select a suitable method to evaluate the research topic.
The researches, hence, adopted a simple approach of comparing the historical figures with the current figures and trying to formulate a pattern among them. The factors that were considered in this methodology were victims of girls' violence, nature of offence, and ratio of simple to aggravated assault and the rate of increase in female arrests. Once again this study suffered from lack of focus and it tried to integrate a number of factors. Even though, all of the data in this paper was collected from official sources, the methodology was weak and it was not able to attain its entire objective. However, the study successfully presented that there is indeed an increase in the number of female offences in the last decade but it was not able to present one or two most noticeable reasons for this trend. Hence, the methodology cannot be considered to be accurate (Fled, 2009).
Policy Implications of these Studies
The study by Baker, Niolon and Oliphan (2009) investigated patterns in domestic violence. The recommendations of this study led to changes in the features and responsibilities of THPs. Now, they are focusing more on providing safety to women, which has led to a reduction in violence and homelessness.
The research by Cunningham and Sorensen (2008) investigated the inmate violence. The study conclusively determined that inmate charged of homicide show the most violent behavior among all groups. This led to changes in policies that resulted in close custody for 'dangerous' homicide criminal in 2002. Moreover, prison misconduct was more severely treated…