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NIJ Journal

This article examines the major considerations to be taken when performing a cost-benefit analysis (CBA). This process is illustrated by showing how the costs and benefits are determined for the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) Multisite Adult Drug Court Evaluation. Sections discuss: the market for crime; cost-benefit analysis in criminology--alternative explanations, or counterfactuals, whose benefits count, and variable estimates; the MADCE; what the MADCE impact evaluation found; measuring the costs and benefits of drug courts; adding up the costs and benefits; what the MADCE CBA found; and improving CBAs in criminology. “The CBA performed in the MADCE study demonstrates that criminal justice reforms can have tangible, positive benefits, including fewer crimes and more savings in victimization costs” (p. 6).

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Criminal Justice Reforms Cover

“As ever-increasing numbers of offenders are supervised in the community — witness the massive “realignment” of prisoners in California — parole and probation departments must find the balance between dwindling dollars and the lowest possible risk to public safety. The good news is that researchers and officials in Philadelphia, Pa., believe they have developed a tool that helps find that balance” (p. 4). This article explains how your jurisdiction can use a random forest risk-forecasting tool. Sections of this article cover: what random forest modeling is; pre-random forest times; getting started; forecast begin- and end-points; determining an acceptable error rate; accuracy; the benefits of random forest modeling; resources, equity, and fairness; the role of ethics in statistical forecasting; the key—a strong partnership; and recommendations from the research.

Predicting Recidivism Risk: New Tool in Philadelphia Shows Great Promise Cover

“When Judge Steven Alm wanted to change the behavior of drug-using probationers, he instituted a program that used strict "swift and certain" principles. A rigorous NIJ-funded evaluation in 2009 proved him right. Probationers in Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) program were significantly less likely to fail drug tests or miss probation appointments. They also were sentenced to less time in prison because of probation revocations than were probationers who did not participate in the program. Now, as jurisdictions around the country try to copy Hawaii's HOPE program, one central question arises: Can Hawaii's success be duplicated? To find out, NIJ and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) are replicating and evaluating the HOPE model in four jurisdictions that vary widely in population density and geographic location: Clackamas County, Ore.; Essex County, Mass.; Saline County, Ark.; and Tarrant County, Texas. To see whether the replications work as well as they did in Hawaii, researchers are conducting process and outcome evaluations and cost assessments. NIJ asked Angela Hawken, who evaluated Hawaii's HOPE program, to discuss some of the challenges that jurisdictions might face — as well as several keys to success — when implementing a HOPE-style program.”

Replicating HOPE: Can Others Do It As Well As Hawaii? Cover

This is an excellent article if you want to understand how inmates feel about incarceration. "A new theoretical framework looks at punishment from the prisoner's perspective and reveals how the lived experience of punishment differs from the punishment conceived by lawmaker" (p. 1). Sections cover: what punishment is; the salience and severity of punishment; narratives of penal consciousness; the role of supervision style and gender; and potential policy implications.

Through Their Eyes: How Prisoners Make Sense of Their Incarceration Cover
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