ERIC Number: ED136084
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Evaluative Research in Corrections: The Uncertain Road.
Martinson's provocative article in Public Interest (Spring, 1974), denying efficacy in prisoner reform, singled out one of the uncertainties in correctional research. In their totality, these uncertainties embrace not only rehabilitative programs but also the method, theory, and organization of correctional research. To comprehend the status and effectiveness of correctional evaluation, we need to clarify such issues as (1) the relative efficacy of correctional treatments, (2) the importance of system models in evaluation, (3) extent to which research should strive for rigor in design, (4) importance of the theory in treatment and research, (5) proper location of research effort, (6) the place of advocacy in reasearch, (7) preferred training for researchers, and (8) optimal administrative styles for correctional administrators. Logical and empirical considerations suggest that prisoner reform is as efficacious as other varieties of social reform; that system models of evaluation are under-used; that "weak" research designs impact correctional policy as heavily as "strong" designs; that "no theory" may be more useful than "formal" theory; that in-house researchers impact correctional policy more heavily than outside researchers; that advocacy is preferable to neutrality in applied correctional research; that "academic" orientation in applied researcher training may be dysfunctional; and that the impact of research is greater under "experimental" than under "committed" or "trapped" administrators. (author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice (Dept. of Justice/LEAA), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Ontario Psychological Association (London, Ontario, February 12-14, 1976)