The Importance of Randomized Experiments in Evaluating Crime Prevention

David Weisburd*, Joshua C. Hinkle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This article shows the importance of randomized experiments, which offer the most persuasive evaluations of the effects of crime-prevention efforts. It discusses the limitations of nonexperimental methods in concluding the effectiveness of crime prevention interventions, and then studies the statistical advantage of randomized experiments. This is followed by a discussion of the risks associated with not using the most precise methodology to evaluate crime prevention. This article also explains why crime-prevention researchers have often forgotten to use experimental methods and determines the conditions where the randomized experiments are likely to be most successful.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Crime Prevention
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940783
ISBN (Print)9780195398823
StatePublished - 12 Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


  • Crime-prevention efforts
  • Crime-prevention researchers
  • Experimental methods
  • Nonexperimental methods
  • Randomized experiments
  • Risks
  • Statistical advantage


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