Cjus 801- discussion forum1-reply2 | CJUS 801 – Criminal Justice Program Evaluation | Liberty University

Reply must be at least 200-300 words. For each thread, you must support your assertions with at least 2 citations from sources such as your textbook, peer-reviewed journal articles, and the Bible. 

Textbook: Vito, G. F., & Higgins, G. E. (2015). Practical program evaluation for criminal justice. Waltham, MA: Elsevier. ISBN: 9781455777709.


The Differences Between Evaluations of Program Process and Program Effects

According to the National Research Council (2005), guidance of policies and practices require evidence about the impacts of such policies and practices. The National Research Council (2005) supported this notion by stating that resources can be allocated for effective programs, which will help policy makers in the development of policies and practices. The process is the first element of program evaluation and is commenced after the need for the program has been established (Vito & Higgins, 2015). It identifies what the program does and if it was properly implemented (Vito & Higgins, 2015). The evaluation of the process serves the purpose of determining whether the program is being implemented the way it was intended and to provide feedback (National Research Council, 2005, Vito & Higgins, 2015). Furthermore, the process evaluation includes the use of qualitative research methods (Vito & Higgins, 2015).

Impact evaluations determine whether a program produced the intended outcomes, and the implementation and evaluation of program effects determine both hypothesized and unintended effects (National Research Council, 2005). For example, which factors were the most effective, which were missed, and could the effects be replicated if the setting were changed (National Research Council, 2005). Thus, the assessment of the effects produced by the program is defined as an impact evaluation, according to the National Research Council (2005).

Vito and Higgins (2015) discussed drug courts as one example of an evaluation of program process. One study conducted by Gummelt and Sullivan (2016) evaluated the effectiveness of the Jefferson County Juvenile Drug Court compared to traditional probation. The researchers hypothesized that criminal activities committed by juveniles who completed drug court would decrease by a statistically significant amount (Gummelt & Sullivan, 2016). Gummelt and Sullivan (2016) found when evaluating the process and the effects, the Jefferson County Juvenile Drug Court was a more effective method to reduce recidivism when compared to traditional probation. Thus, lower recidivism rates can lead to lower costs for the community despite traditional probation being less expensive initially (Gummelt & Sullivan, 2016). The researchers discussed some of the factors that aided effectiveness such as the increased supervision and drug court team contacts (Gummelt & Sullivan, 2016).

Another study conducted regarding the program process and effects of drug courts was a qualitative study conducted by Moore et al. (2017). The researchers conducted nine interviews of offenders who participated in the YouCan program for prescription drug addiction offenders aged 18 to 26, which stemmed from the Pinellas County Adult Drug Court (Moore et al., 2017). The program used a multidisciplinary Matrix model, which included social support groups, educational groups, and individual counseling (Moore et al., 2017). The questions included the decision to participate in the program, perceptions before and after the program, program factors most important to success, and life after the program (Moore et al., 2017). The researchers found that the participants’ perceptions of the program were positive (Moore et al., 2017). The study measured effectiveness based upon the participants’ viewpoints and did not analyze quantitative data regarding the treatment program.

The Bible does not discuss drugs or treatment programs, but the Bible does discuss sin. God expects Christians to recognize man’s sinning nature and turn away from sin. Proverbs 28:13 states, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (The NIV Study Bible, 1995). 1 John 5:17 provides, “All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death” (The NIV Study Bible, 1995).

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