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Explaining feast or famine in randomized field trials: medical science and criminology compared

Shepherd, Jonathan 2003. Explaining feast or famine in randomized field trials: medical science and criminology compared. Evaluation Review 27 (3) , pp. 290-315. 10.1177/0193841X03027003005

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A feast of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in medical science and comparative famine in criminology can be explained in terms of cultural and structural factors. Of central importance is the context in which the evaluation of interventions is done and the difference in status of situational research in the two disciplines. Evaluation of medical interventions has traditionally been led by practitioner (clinical) academics. This is not the case in criminal justice, where theory has had higher status than intervention research. Medical science has advanced in, or closely associated with, university teaching hospitals, but links between criminology and criminal justice services are far more tenuous. The late development of situational crime prevention seems extraordinary from a medical perspective, as does the absence of university police schools in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. These structural and cultural factors explain concentration of expectation, resource, and RCT productivity in medical science. The Campbell Collaboration and the Academy of Experimental Criminology are forces which are reducing this polarization of feast and famine in RCTs. But unless scientific criminology is embedded in university schools which are responsible for the education and training of law, probation, and police practitioners, convergence in terms of RCTs and implementation of findings in practice seems unlikely.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > L Education (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: randomized trials; criminology; medical science; education
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 0193-841X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:56

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