CJ 350 Measuring and Understanding Delinquency Exercise (Winter 2011)

CJ 350 Measuring and Understanding Delinquency Exercise (Winter 2011)

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Unformatted text preview: Measuring and Understanding Delinquency Exercise Exercise CJ 350 Dr. Kierkus January 2010 Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Violence Prevention Program Violence The goal of this exercise is to make The you think about how and why “measurement matters” when talking about juvenile justice issues. about You will get into groups and develop You a plan for evaluating a delinquency prevention program that ran in the city of Grand Rapids between 2004 and 2009. and Background Background In the first few summers of the past decade, Grand In Rapids experienced a “surge” of youth violence during the summer months. during Numerous shootings, stabbings and other violent Numerous incidents were reported at local malls, roller rinks, bars and street corners. bars The evidence indicated that gang rivalry may have The been responsible for at least part of the problem. been Bemis street gang. Eastern Avenue boys. Latin kings and other “national gangs”. The community demanded that the police: “Do The something!” something!” Background Background Several years ago, during a particularly bad Several summer (2004), former Police Chief Harry Dolan decided to address the problem by placing “mobile field offices” in high risk neighborhoods. neighborhoods. The goal was to place police officers in The high risk areas to act as a deterrent to youth crime. youth Dolan also hoped that the presence of officers Dolan would help build relationships within the community (i.e. community policing). community Current Chief Kevin Belk continued the Current program until 2009 (one field office was fire bombed and destroyed, the other was eventually “mothballed” due to a lack of funds). funds). The Task The Two years later, Chief Belk is wondering: Two “Did this program do any good? Did I make the right decision in scrapping it?” make Did the presence of these trailers and officers Did decrease delinquent behavior (particularly violent delinquency)? violent Were there any unexpected benefits beyond Were delinquency prevention (e.g. increased perceptions of community safety, improved police / citizen relations)? police He’d like the talented people at GVSU to He’d design and implement a study that will answer these questions. answer In your groups, I’d like you to come up with In two research plans: two The Task The Research Plan #1: Assume that you have just one semester to plan one your project, carry it out, and submit a report to Chief Belk. your You’ll have a faculty advisor to work with, access to GVSU libraries, You’ll GRPD crime data, and other resources (within reason), and a small budget for photocopying, driving to locations within the city, purchasing office supplies etc. ($500 or so). purchasing Beyond this, you don’t have any other resources that University Beyond students wouldn’t ordinarily have. students Research Plan #2: Assume that Chief Belk has secured a Federal Grant to evaluate the effectiveness of this program. Grant He’s given you a budget of $250,000 and 3 years to plan, implement, He’s carry out the evaluation, and report the results. carry You’ll have a Professor and several graduate students working with You’ll you. you. With this kind of budget it will be possible to gather data by With interviewing, observing etc. (in addition to just mining existing databases). databases). You could hire research assistants if necessary. You could bring the field offices back and run a prospective You experiment if you wanted to (rather than just focusing on what happened in the past)? happened How would your research approaches differ in these two scenarios? How much better (i.e. more accurate and truthful) would your “answers” How be using the second approach? Why? be ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2011 for the course CJ 350 taught by Professor Kierkus during the Winter '11 term at Grand Valley State.

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