Criminal Justice Program Evaluation – CJUS 801

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course will examine key concepts, methods, and approaches in the field of program evaluation research. Students will be exposed to the theoretical and methodological diversity inherent in current evaluation practices across a number of substantive areas. The comprehensive range of activities involved in designing, implementing, and assessing the utility of criminal justice programs. Evidence based practice will be one of the focal points of this class.

Prerequisites

CJUS 740, 745, and 750

Rationale

The purpose of this course is to understand the different types of program evaluations and how to apply them to the field. This course meets the requirements for the Ph.D. program by teaching students how to apply the appropriate research methodology to a hypothesis. This is an essential skill for a field researcher and Ph.D. student.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Explain the processes and political dynamics entangled with the development and implementation of Criminal Justice Policy.
  2. Explain which research designs are best suited to different posed hypotheses.
  3. Evaluate an existing criminal justice policy against the evidence-based literature.
  4. Evaluate an existing anticrime program and examine the strengths and weaknesses as it is implemented.
  5. Create an anticrime/prevention program with an appropriate research design.
  6. Evaluate the effectiveness of the anticrime/prevention program with the research design.
  7. Synthesize the process of criminal justice program evaluation with a biblical worldview.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forum (5)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be a minimum of 500–600 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and reference at least 2 scholarly articles. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 3 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be a minimum of 250-300 words.

Evaluability Assessment Paper

This assignment requires the student to develop a 3-page evaluation strategy for his or her chosen problem using Vito & Higgins planning evaluation strategy on pages 18–19 of the textbook.

Evaluation Strategy Paper

This assignment requires the student to develop a 5-page evaluation strategy for a police or crime problem chosen using Vito & Higgins planning evaluation strategy in Chapter 2.  Using the evaluation strategy in Vito & Higgins to frame the paper, the student will establish goals, objectives, and performance indicators using a theory that provides the basis for his or her specified program. Citations must be used for the underlying theories. For example, if the student chooses violent crime as the problem he or she is going to address, then he or she will examine the theories surrounding violent crime reduction. Using one of these theories, such as focused deterrence, the student will model a program after a Ceasefire or Pulling Levers example. The student will use the theory to inform program operations to drive the selection of treatments, clarify the services provided, and determine the variables to be measured.

Logic Model

The student will also include a Logic Model for the chosen problem following the Vito & Higgins model in Chapter 2. The Logic Model must be in the form of a chart (an excel spreadsheet will be fine). The Logic Model will cover inputs, activities, outputs, short-term outcomes, long-term outcomes, and external factors.

Management Plan Paper

This assignment requires the student to write a 3-page management plan for the chosen anticrime/prevention program.

Program Impact Paper

The student will write a 20-page research-based paper in current APA format that focuses on program impact. The paper must include at least 20 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible.