A Profile of Correctional Effectiveness and New Directions for Research

By Ted Palmer

Subjects: Criminology
Series: SUNY series in New Directions in Crime and Justice Studies
Paperback : 9780791419106, 339 pages, March 1994
Hardcover : 9780791419090, 339 pages, April 1994

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Table of contents

Foreword by Michael Gottfredson




Part I. Profiling Correctional Effectiveness

1. Background
2. Results from Individual Analyses and Reviews
3. Results from Analyses and Reviews Collectively
4. Trends and Problem Areas
5. The Absense of All-purpose Approaches

Part II. New Directions for Research

6. Conceptualizing Combinations Research
7. Further Challenges in Knowledge Building
8. Identifying Promising Features, and Overall Programs
9. The Global Approach
10. Complexities, Tools, and Priorities

Part III. Technical and Conceptual Issues

11. Success Criteria and Positive-outcome Studies
12. Deciding Factors and Dimensions of Change


A. The Risk, Need, and Responsivity Principles, and Appropriate Versus Inappropriate Services
B. Repetition Versus Convergence of Evidence
C. The Percentage of Statistically Significant Studies
D. Implications of Differential Representation
E. Effectiveness of Differing Combinations of Program Components
F. Selected Issues Regarding Control Programs
G. Offender Intervention Scales
H. Staff Characteristics Scales
I. Selected Issues Involving Sample Size
J. Selected Issues Involving Parts and Wholes
K. Definitional Issues Regarding Similarity





About the Author


This book summarizes and integrates a vast body of previously unintegrated research regarding the effectiveness of correctional intervention, which emphasizes treatment and rehabilitation but also includes methods of control. It develops detailed as well as global methods for conducting more fruitful research in the future and for understanding why and how many programs work.

Ted Palmer is Senior Researcher at the California Youth Authority. He is the author of Correctional Intervention and Research, and The Re-emergence of Correctional Intervention.


"Moving from his remarkable book, The Re-emergence of Correctional Intervention, Palmer has provided the most valuable analysis of treatment effectiveness research available to date. Palmer is brilliant and his work deserves to be read widely." — Phil Harris, Temple University

"The author does a very good job of making sense of the literature and the 'evidence' for correctional treatment programs. He raises important issues and finds a new way to analyze the data. I expect that this book will generate interest among researchers and there should be activity to resolve some of the problems the author identifies. The areas proposed for future research will be considered a contribution to the correctional literature." — Frank P. Williams III, California State University