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What works?Evidence-based policy and practice in public services$
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Huw T.O. Davies, Sandra M. Nutley, and Peter C. Smith

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9781861341914

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861341914.001.0001

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Criminal justice: using evidence to reduce crime

Criminal justice: using evidence to reduce crime

(p.92) (p.93) Five Criminal justice: using evidence to reduce crime
What works?

Sandra Nutley

Huw Davies

Policy Press

Within the criminal justice system, there is renewed interest in the role that evidence can play in shaping crime reduction policies and practices. This chapter charts the shift from the conclusion in the 1970s that ‘nothing works’ to the active search for ‘what works’ in the 1990s. Criminal justice research is characterised by its methodological plurality and, particularly in the UK, a belief in the need for a theory-driven approach to evaluation. One of the issues highlighted by the chapter is the potential danger of adopting tentative research results as firm effective practice principles. An evidence-based approach requires the implementation of current evidence to be carefully balanced and integrated with ongoing evaluations of effectiveness.

Keywords:   crime reduction, UK, evidence-based approach, effectiveness

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