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NCJ Number
M D Maltz
Date Published
240 pages
This book examines the methodology of studying recidivism. It looks at how study outcomes are affected by the way recidivism is defined, the nature of the organizations involved in the study and the analytical techniques that are applied to the recidivism data.
This book attempts to provide a framework for the development of a method of studying recidivism, the reversion of an individual to criminal behavior after having been convicted, sentenced and, presumably, corrected. The first half of the book focuses on the problem of appropriately defining recidivism and how different definitions can affect the outcome of a study. This can result in improper policy decisions when reliance is placed on studies that use faulty definitions. The author discusses the many goals of the correctional systems and puts into perspective the significance of recidivism in measuring the effectiveness of corrections. The second part of the book focuses on the need to select an appropriate analytical technique to apply to recidivism data. Deficiencies in standard research methodology for analyzing recidivism data are noted. Several other methods and models that overcome these deficiencies are described. This part of the book involves detailed statistical analysis for selecting the best method for analyzing recidivism data. The book is intended primarily for criminal justice researchers, particularly those who use and teach research methods. Because of the complexity of the material, a background in graduate level research methods and statistical methods and acquaintance with exponential distribution are recommended. Tables, graphs