Program Analysis Services
Program analysis (or policy analysis) is the evaluation of a program to see if it resulted in the intended outcomes. Does your hot spot policing strategy cause crime to go down? Did your gun violence intervention reduce the participants involvement in violence? Did bail reforms cause a greater amount of recidivism?
You should conduct a program analysis because even if you implement policies that are shown to be effective in other jurisdictions, they are not guaranteed to work in your jurisdiction. Programs have substantial costs; if they are ineffective, they are wasting time and money.
Evaluating a Policy Already in Place
It is best to plan a program from the start to be able to easily identify if it is effective. Many real life scenarios prevent this, though. Imagine you are a county interested in implementing pre-trial risk assessments in lieu of bail. It is not feasible to randomize who gets released based on a risk assessment and who receives traditional bail. In that scenario, one needs to create a quasi-experimental design to determine whether the risk assessment has increased or decreased recidivism among those released.
CRIME De-Coder has extensive experience in conducting quasi-experimental research designs. Example projects include:
- Evaluating hot spots interventions reduced crime (Phillips et al., 2016; Piza et al., 2020; Wheeler & Phillips, 2018)
- Evaluating Crime-Prevention-Through-Environmental-Design (CPTED) interventions, such as CCTV increasing clearance rates (Jung & Wheeler, 2021), or if installing LED lights decreased violence at nighttime (Wheeler, 2022)
- Evaluating the effect of noxious properties (and interventions to impact them), such as how bars and medical marijuana dispensaries impact crime (Wheeler, 2019; Zakrzewski et al., 2020), home demolitions decreasing crime (Wheeler et al., 2018), or prosecutors targeting problem landlords (Worrall & Wheeler, 2019).
Planning a Policy from the Start
There are two parts to planning a policy from the start. Step one is identifying policies that are worth pursuing. CRIME De-Coder has written about violent crime interventions that are successful for the American Society of Evidence Based Policing, as well as those that are not, such as gun buy backs and gun offender interventions.
Step two, once a program has been identified, it is important to plan the analysis in a way to identify if the intervention is working. CRIME De-Coder has created different statistical methods to effectively plan research designs, such as how long it is necessary to evaluate a program (Wheeler & Ratcliffe 2018).
Without proper planning, you may be choosing inefficient programs, or not give the programs you implement a fair chance to show their effectiveness. Contact the CRIME De-Coder today for a free consultation to discuss planning or analyzing different programs.
- Jung, Y., & Wheeler, A.P. (2021). The effect of public surveillance cameras on crime clearance rates. Journal of Experimental Criminology, Online First.
- Phillips, S.W., Wheeler, A.P, & Kim, D.Y. (2016). The effect of police paramilitary unit raids on crime at micro-places in Buffalo, New York. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 18(3), 206-219.
- Piza, E.L., Wheeler, A.P., Connealy, N.T., & Feng, S.Q. (2020). Crime control effects of a police substation within a business improvement district: A quasi‐experimental synthetic control evaluation. Criminology & Public Policy, 19(2), 653-684.
- Wheeler, A.P., Kim, D.Y., & Phillips, S.W. (2018). The effect of housing demolitions on crime in Buffalo, New York. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 55(3), 390-424.
- Wheeler, A.P., & Phillips, S.W. (2018). A quasi-experimental evaluation using roadblocks and automatic license plate readers to reduce crime in Buffalo, NY. Security Journal, 31, 190-207.
- Wheeler, A.P., & Ratcliffe, J.H. (2018). A simple weighted displacement difference test to evaluate place based crime interventions. Crime Science, 7(1), 11.
- Wheeler, A.P. (2019). Quantifying the local and spatial effects of alcohol outlets on crime. Crime & Delinquency, 65(6), 845-871.
- Wheeler, A.P (2022). Analysis of LED street light conversions on firearm crimes in Dallas, Texas. Pre-print on OSF.
- Worrall, J.L., & Wheeler, A.P. (2019). Evaluating community prosecution code enforcement in Dallas, Texas. Justice Quarterly, 36(5), 870-899.
- Zakrzewski Jr, W.J., Wheeler, A.P., & Thompson, A.J. (2020). Cannabis in the capital: Exploring the spatial association between medical marijuana dispensaries and crime. Journal of Crime and Justice, 43(1), 1-15.