Criminal Justice Coursework

Question

Continue working on your Criminal Justice Program Proposal.
Write a 1,750- word proposal that includes the following:
Decide which type of evaluation is appropriate and how evaluation results will be used.
Identify information system capabilities of systems used to gather evaluation data.
Describe the qualitative and quantitative methods that will be used to evaluate program data.
Designate responsibility for data collection, storage, and analysis.
Develop mechanisms to provide feedback to staff, clients, and stakeholders.
Explain ways to assess the relevance of stakeholder feedback.
Format your proposal consistent with APA guidelines.

Answer

Juvenile Justice Correctional Facilities

Contents

Introduction. 2

Types of Evaluation and Usage of Results. 3

Information System Capabilities. 4

Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for Data Evaluation. 5

Designation of Responsibilities. 7

Mechanisms of Providing Feedback. 7

Assessment of Stakeholders’ Feedback. 8

References. 9

Introduction

            Evaluation is a vital aspect of the process of program development and implementation.  It is a powerful tool that most justice juvenile programs ought to incorporate to ascertain what results they are actually interested in producing. Furthermore, it helps to keep the entire system in check by closely monitoring the activities of individual key players, including the staff and how they contribute towards yielding the expected results in line with the program’s goals and objectives (Royse, Thyer & Padgett, 2015). The importance of evaluation, especially in the current state of the juvenile system, cannot be overlooked. This is because the juvenile system has failed in its role of rehabilitating convicts by placing more focus on punishment as a primary method of deterrence. In fact, most systems operate alongside methods such as supervision and custodial care, holding the view that the overarching goal of juvenile justice is to ensure public safety at all costs. This is where the problem lies. The majority of these programs have failed tremendously in reducing recidivism and producing other positive outcomes that shape convicts into respectable citizens (Thompson, William & Bynum, 2016). They have a tendency to disdain the youths’ plight for rehabilitation, resulting in a substantial wastage of taxpayers’ money. This is the principal reason why evaluation is deemed necessary as far as juvenile justice is concerned. Juvenile justice managers together with other stakeholders are entitled to know what their programs are trying to achieve, the results being produced, and whether or not their financial contributions are amounting to something beneficial in the long-run (Thompson, William & Bynum, 2016).

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Types of Evaluation and Usage of Results

In my proposed program, two types of evaluations will be employed: basic and comparative outcome evaluations. Basic outcome evaluation entails collecting and carefully analyzing data to determine the impact and overall effectiveness of the program in reducing recidivism (Duwe, 2015). My program focuses on three key areas: education and vocational training, adequate healthcare service provision and safety. A series of activities and processes will be initiated to achieve wholesome education and appropriate healthcare advancement. These will include training workshops, classroom activities, clinical programs (disease screening and diagnosis) among several others. Outcome evaluation requires accurate data collection and process monitoring for it to be conclusive and effective.Owing to this, data regarding inmates’ enrolment to the programs and their corresponding changes in behavior and attitudes before and after a certain time frame will be collected and subjected to analysis. Similarly, slight comparisons will be made during the course of the program. Intermediate indicators of success will be drawn out by measuring outcomes at specific time periods and making comparisons between successive time intervals. This will provide definitive information regarding the performance of the program regarding its impressions and corresponding effects.

            On the other hand, comparative evaluation will focus on establishing long-term outcomes of the program. Essentially, my program is designed in such a way that all the activities will run concurrently. This will make it easier to collect data on several variables across the board so as to draw out meaningful inferences. Outcome measures will be collected before and after the program is implemented to provide a solid basis for making comparisons with time. Data variables such as number of patients recovering from a certain disease, frequency of class attendance by the juveniles, changes in behavior and attitude, follow-up examinations among others will be collected.A major benefit of this type of evaluation is that the juvenile manager will be able to establish the relative condition between the various variables. For instance, is the change in attitude and behavior among inmates directly correlated to education? Is the improved quality of life of the inmates a function of safety and health standards? Such relationships can be established and they will be used to provide a better understanding of the possible ranges of outcomes that can be expected from the program in future.The results will be used to give the program a sense of direction by providing crucial feedback that may be used to make provisional adjustments. Additionally, the outcomes will be used to determine the cost of the program, including salaries to the staff, medical and teaching supplies among others.

Information System Capabilities

            The systems that will be used to collect evaluation data will have the capability to monitor even the slightest statistical changes in juvenile crimes, the rates of delinquency and other risk factors both internally and externally. As stated earlier, social media sites will constitute a greater part of this program in that they will be used to gather information from the general community regarding their impressions of the program, for example, their views on whether it is turning out to be effective in reducing recidivism. Much to it, the program will also work hand-in-hand with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the United States Department of Justice to allow us to access their database and internet mapping tools. Having such tools at our disposal together with our information systems will allows us to assess the rate of juvenile arrests, gang violence and the causes of delinquency. It is highly imperative that data collection instruments complement each other to achieve optimal success.

            Our information systems will also collect information regarding the health and education levels of inmates. For instance, how many inmates have acquired diplomas from the courses being offered? How many have been cured from their respective illnesses as a result of the clinical treatments? The data systems have the capability to track and monitor such progress and also gather and disseminate such crucial information to the relevant stakeholders such as the community, the government and funders as well.These systems, coupled together with the evaluation techniques, also possess the capability establish the complex relationship between different variables. Furthermore, they can be used to measure progress to determine whether the program is headed in the right direction just by analyzing the figures collected.

Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for Data Evaluation

            Qualitative data analysis methods are purely non-statistical and usually aim at discovering patterns like changes over certain time periods and their causes (Miles, Huberman & Saldana, 2013). For my program, the methods that will be employed here will include the compilation of detailed reports on the findings and transcription of video recordings. Information will be collected on health and education patterns, staff performance, response to program activities and several other variables. As such, it will be prudent to compile the information systematically and consistently for easier analysis and presentation. The foundation of qualitative analysis relies on the progressive interplay of theory and analysis to get sufficient information that can be used for decision-making (Ritchie et al., 2013).

            On the contrary, quantitative analysis is statistical in nature hence involves a series of mathematical computations that aim at breaking down the variables to establish meaningful patterns and cause-and-effect relationships as well (Treiman, 2014). It serves as a primary tool for providing a wider scope of insight to determine the final courses of action that are effective. Therefore, methods such as plotting of graphs, calculation of trend values, obtaining descriptive statistics, testing of hypothesis, and regression analysis are relevant to the evaluation of the findings from my program. This is because the findings in quantitative analysis are mainly descriptive in nature hence will only be relevant and conclusive in a numerical structure (Treiman, 2104).

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            To begin with, graphs will be plotted to determine the trends in the behavior of the inmates and staff towards the program. This will aid in determining the interim adjustments that ought to be made should the response turn out to be negative. Secondly, descriptive statistics such as mean, variances and standard deviations will be computed on variables such as the number of inmates enrolled in vocational training programs and other activities. Furthermore, the distribution of the key variables will also be analyzed in this context to determine how the data is clustered around the mean, that is, the determination of whether an outcome is closer or further from the expected results. The results obtained from the descriptive statistics will consolidate the basis for testing the hypothesis to establish the performance of the program. Finally, regression analysis will come in handy when determining the relationship between the independent and dependent variables from the program findings and attempting to fit an appropriate model to accommodate the results for better understanding.

Designation of Responsibilities

            Effective data management relies on proper data collection, storage and analysis. Conducting these three practices goes a long way in enhancing the integrity of the research being conducted. Data collection will be done by the various teachers, doctors and facilitators of the juvenile systems. This is because these parties are directly involved in the day-to-day lives of the inmates. Thus, they will be in a better position to collect the data as they run their various activities. It is better to utilize these individuals rather than hire data collection staff to cut down on cost and ensure uniformity of the results across the different correctional institutions. For accuracy, it is probably best not to inform the detainees that they are being evaluated because they may tend to behave differently leading to the acquisition of false results. As for storage, the data will be compiled and stored in one central server that will be set up to act as a coordinating platform. Data will be forwarded from the different correctional institutions and stored here. Thus, an IT expert will be required. The only impediment here will be to ensure that the coordinating center will possess exceptional capabilities in receiving voluminous data from the different facilities, processing them and assigning distinct indices tothem for the purposes of maintaining accuracy.Finally, the data will be analyzed by experts who will be hired to compile the reports and present thorough findings to the stakeholders. Therefore, training of the analysts will be crucial to ensure that they understand the dynamics of the proposed program to achieve the goal of having a standardized data set that will be used to determine the courses of action to take to improve program performance and efficiency.

Mechanisms of Providing Feedback

            Feedback mechanisms are useful to stakeholders, clients and staff because they provide grounds for coming up with innovative ideas to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a program. Social media and meetings will serves as the mediums of conveying feedback to the above mentioned parties. The designated social media accounts of the program will be updated on a quarterly basis to keep all the groups up-to-date with the progress and results of the program. Also, they will be used as platforms for soliciting for views and opinions of all the factions involved on what needs to be done to boost the program’s performance to yield the expected results. Secondly, meetings will be held annually to present yearly findings and discuss the way forward. Here, reports of findings and analysis will be presented and will be subjected to intense scrutiny from all the parties to help decide on what areas need to be remedied. This will also help determine whether the program requires more resources in terms of finances and in what proportions they are to be allocated.

Assessment of Stakeholders’ Feedback

            Feedback from the respective stakeholders will be assessed by presenting their suggestions during the annual meetings. The presentations will be used as a means to judge the relevance of the feedback. However, the decision to adopt certain measures will have to be unanimous. Feedback forms will also be presented to all factions after the financial projections have been conducted.  The impact of the feedback presented will be measured in figures, that is, should the probability of deriving optimal utility from a decision be high, then that feedback is deemed relevant. Polls and surveys will also be used as instruments of measuring feedback relevance. They will be used to collect data on the opinions, attitudes and behaviors of the involved parties towards the program and determine the relevant courses of actions to adopt.

References

Duwe, G. (2015). An outcome evaluation of a prison work release program: Estimating its effects on recidivism, employment, and cost avoidance. Criminal Justice Policy Review26(6), 531-554.

Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldana, J. (2013). Qualitative data analysis. London: Sage.

Ritchie, J., Lewis, J., Nicholls, C. M., & Ormston, R. (Eds.). (2013). Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers. London: Sage.

Royse, D., Thyer, B. A., & Padgett, D. K. (2015). Program evaluation: An introduction to an evidence-based approach. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.

Thompson, W. E., & Bynum, J. E. (2016). Juvenile delinquency: A sociological approach. Princeton, NJ: Rowman& Littlefield.

Treiman, D. J. (2014). Quantitative data analysis: Doing social research to test ideas. Berkeley, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

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