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The politics of evaluationParticipation and policy implementation$
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David Taylor and Susan Balloch

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9781861346063

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861346063.001.0001

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Below decks on the youth justice flagship: the politics of evaluation

Below decks on the youth justice flagship: the politics of evaluation

(p.21) One Below decks on the youth justice flagship: the politics of evaluation
The politics of evaluation

Peter Squires

Lynda Measor

Policy Press

This chapter considers some of the dangers of national, centrally-driven evaluations, arguing that the main reason why evaluations cannot explain what works is their relative neglect of the perspectives and experiences of the central actors. It focuses on the connection between ‘the new and quasi-scientific language of programme evaluation’ and the ‘actuarial-interventionist logic of contemporary youth justice’. It shows the ways in which evaluation becomes more a part of a process by which compliance with programme goals can be assured than a scientific attempt to assess the effectiveness of different strategies. It discusses how the Youth Justice Board and the Home Office were seeking clear evidence of the crime reduction that the youth offending flagship was intended to deliver.

Keywords:   youth justice, youth justice board, home office, programme evaluation, actuarial-interventionist logic, crime reduction, evaluations

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