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ERIC Number: EJ902912
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-1098-2140
A Realist Evaluation Approach to Unpacking the Impacts of the Sentencing Guidelines
Hunt, Kim Steven; Sridharan, Sanjeev
American Journal of Evaluation, v31 n4 p463-485 Dec 2010
Evaluations of complex interventions such as sentencing guidelines provide an opportunity to understand the mechanisms by which policies and programs can impact intermediate and long-term outcomes. There is limited previous discussion of the underlying frameworks by which sentencing guidelines can impact outcomes such as crime rates. Guided by a realist evaluation framework, this article examines the impact of linkages of sentencing policy to resource capacity--a cost-control paradigm under which a few states created guidelines to control rising prison populations and expenditures. Additionally, we argue that the moderating influence of this linkage will depend on the severity of the crime. A key conclusion is that in addition to social science theory, evaluation theory is needed to understand how programs work; there is a greater need for identifying conditions under which policies work or do not work. We find the realist approach as a promising approach to build such knowledge. (Contains 10 tables, 2 figures and 7 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A