Conducting Randomized Controlled Trials With Offenders in an Administrative Setting

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2 Scopus citations


Evaluation research conducted in agencies that sanction law violators is often challenging and due process may preclude evaluators from using experimental methods in traditional criminal justice agencies such as police, courts, and corrections. However, administrative agencies often deal with the same population but are not bound by due process rules. This paper examines three randomized controlled trials conducted in an administrative agency and outlines the benefits of working in a nontraditional criminal justice agency over traditional criminal justice settings. Also addressed are barriers encountered and methods for overcoming set-backs. The findings demonstrate that the challenges of conducting randomized controlled trials in administrative agencies are similar to those experienced in police agencies, courts, and corrections. However, administrative contexts also have advantages over traditional criminal justice agencies and criminal justice researchers and scholars should broaden their focus and examine administrative agencies as feasible environments for conducting rigorous research on offending populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-178
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 4 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management


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