On June 8, 2016, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET, the Smart Policing Initiative (SPI) will present a webinar on “Using Randomized Controlled Trials in Criminal Justice.” This webinar will be presented by SPI subject matter experts Dr. Gipsy Escobar, Director of Research at Measures for Justice, and Dr. Michael D. White, Professor and Director of the Ph.D. Program at the School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Arizona State University. Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) are considered the gold standard of scientific research because they allow the researcher to control the delivery of the intervention as well as to randomly assign subjects (or geographic areas) to treatment and control groups. This approach eliminates the potential effect that factors external to the intervention may have on the outcome, thus avoiding “contamination” of the results and allowing discussion of causal connection between the intervention and changes in the outcome.
The last two decades have seen a significant increase in the use of RCTs to evaluate criminal justice programs, especially police interventions, with very promising results. Police “treatments” that have been studied with RCT designs include arrest policies for domestic violence calls, hot spots initiatives, and body-worn camera use. This webinar will introduce participants to the basic principles of experimental research in natural (non-laboratory) settings. Participants will learn about when RCT is an appropriate research option, the advantages and disadvantages of experiments, implementation and analytical issues, and ethical and practical considerations. We will also review examples of SPI police interventions that have used RCT designs in their implementation and evaluation and discuss lessons learned from those experiences.
No cost to participate