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The NCRP Data as a Research Platform: Evaluation Design Considerations

NCJ Number
252677
Date Published
June 2021
Length
35 pages
Author(s)
William Rhodes; Gerald Gaes; Ryan Kling; Jeremy Luallen; Tom Rich, Abt Associates
Agencies
BJS-Sponsored
Publication Type
Third-Party Report, Report (Grant-Sponsored)
Grant Number(s)
2010-BJ-CX-K067, 2015-R2-CX-K135
Abstract

A hypothetical evaluation question posits that a state introduced a reform intended to reduce incarceration for a targeted group of offenders. An evaluator can observe what happened following the reform’s introduction but cannot tell what would have happened had the state not introduced the reform. This paper discusses how the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP) data might be used to investigate what the reform accomplished. Also discussed are selected quasi-experimental approaches that should be useful for dealing with the above evaluation question: pretest-posttest designs, difference-in-difference designs, difference-in-difference-in-differences designs, and synthetic control methods. While not an exhaustive list of evaluation strategies, this paper aims to emphasize the analysis of panel data derived from the NCRP.

Date Created: June 9, 2021