Improving evaluation of anti-crime programs: Summary of a National Research Council report

Mark Lipsey, Carol Petrie*, David Weisburd, Denise Gottfredson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This article summarizes a report of the National Research Council: Improving Evaluation of Anti-crime Programs. It is based on a workshop, held in September 2003, in which participants presented and discussed examples of evaluation-related studies that represent the methods and challenges associated with research at three levels: interventions directed toward individuals; interventions in neighborhoods, schools, prisons, or communities; and interventions at a broad policy level. The article, and the report on which it is based, is organized around five questions that require thoughtful analysis in the development of any evaluation plan: What questions should the evaluation address? When is it appropriate to conduct an impact evaluation? How should an impact evaluation be designed? How should the evaluation be implemented? What organizational infrastructure and procedures support high quality evaluation? The authors highlight major considerations in developing and implementing evaluation plans for criminal justice programs and make recommendations for improvement of government funded evaluation studies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)271-307
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Experimental Criminology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Anti-crime programs
  • Evaluation
  • Experiments
  • Impact evaluation
  • Observational methods
  • Quasi-experiments
  • Randomized trials
  • Research methods


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