Essay: Criminal Procedure and the Idiosyncrasies

Pages: 7 (2229 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 14  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] The evaluator attempts to determine the positive or negative nature of the responses but quantifying such qualitative measures is sometimes quite difficult. An additional benefit to qualitative studies is that it may not require groupings with the participants.

Qualitative studies can also include how the participants feel or think about certain concepts and these feelings, thought and perceptions can often times change. This can lead to skewed results, especially if a pre-test and post-test is administered within the study. However, a quantitative study is often conducted using a pre-test and a post-test in order to compare results.

The researcher may also use close-ended questions to elicit responses instead of the open-ended that is favored by the qualitative researcher. Whatever methodologies are employed by the evaluator, care must be taken to ensure the validity and reliability of the study or evaluation.

Whether a formative or summative evaluation is needed to ensure the evaluator accomplishes the goals and objectives of the court should also be considered. Formative evaluation is a "method of judging the worth of a program while the program activities are forming or happening, formative evaluation focuses on the process" (Bhola, 1990). The use of a formative evaluation in the criminal justice system can assist both the court and the defendant in addressing problems as they are happening. Interventions (such as the MERIT program) can be applied to certain situations as they are discovered. If a summative evaluation was to be used instead (in these circumstances) then those interventions surely would not take place.

Summative evaluations, on the other hand, are normally applied 'after the fact'. Using a summative evaluation to determine whether a program is working would be beneficial in the criminal justice system as well, but it would have to be applied judiciously. A summative evaluation is an excellent vehicle to use in determining whether a program is achieving its goals and objectives, but it is normally used to discern that fact after the program has been up and running for a while.

Evaluations and their respective methodologies will likely see continued use in the criminal justice system since they are excellent vehicles for determining results. However, bias is always present in studies and it is up to the evaluator to remember the seriousness of the responsibilities he or she has accepted as their own.

References

Behavioral Sciences and the Law (2006) online accessed at Wiley Inter-Science on November 11, 2010, at www.interscience.wiley.com

Bhola, H.S. (1990) Evaluating 'literacy for development' projects, programs and campaigns: Evaluation planning, design and implementation, and utilization of evaluation results. UNESCO Institute for Education, xii

Bonta, J.; Wallace-Capretta, S.; Rooney, J.; McAnoy, K.; (2002) An outcome evaluation of a restorative justice alternative to incarceration, Contemporary Justice Review, Vol. 5, Issue 4, pp. 319-338

Chaiken, J.M. & Chaiken, M.R.; (1982) Varieties of criminal behavior, Santa Monica: Rand Publishers

Clancey, G. & Howard, J.; (2006) Diversion and criminal justice drug treatment: Mechanism of emancipation or social control?, Drug and Alcohol Review, Vol. 25, Issue 4, pp. 377-385

De Baco, G. (2007) The confirmation of charges before the International Criminal Court: Evaluation and first application, International Criminal Law Review, Vol. 7, Issue 2/3, pp. 469-481

Jaros, D.M. (2010) Unfettered discretion: Criminal orders of protection and their impact on parent defendants, Indiana Law Journal, Vol. 85, Issue 4, pp. 1445 -- 1476

Merit, (2006) accessed on November 10, 2010 at: http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/cpd/merit.nsf/pages/merit_aboutus

NSW (2003) MERIT annual report, Sydney, Attorney General's Department, NSW Attorney General's Department

Travers, M. (2005). Evaluation research and criminal justice: Beyond a political critique, The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Vol. 38, pp. 39-58

Warren, J.I.; Murrie, D.C.; Stejskal, W.; Colwell, L.H.; Morris, J.; Chauhan, P.; Dietz, P.; (2002) Evaluating the adjudicative competence and restorability of criminal defendants: A review of 8,000 evaluations, accessed on Nov. 11, 2010 at Weatherbum, D. (2005) Critical criminology and its discontents: A response to Travers' critique of criminal justice evaluation, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Vol. 38, Issue 3, pp. 416 -- 420

Williams, B.A.; Lindquist, K.; Hill, T.; Baillargeon, J.; Mellow, J.; Greifinger, R.; Walter, L.C.; (2009) Caregiving behind bars: Correctional officer reports of disability in geriatric prisoners, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Vol. 57, Issue 7, pp. 1286 -- 1292

Winnick, B.J. (1995) Reforming incompetency to stand trial and plead guilty: A restated proposal and response… [END OF PREVIEW]

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