Below decks on the flagship: evaluating youth justice
Measor, Lynda and Squires, Peter (2005) Below decks on the flagship: evaluating youth justice In: Taylor, David and Balloch, Susan, eds. The politics of evaluation: participation and policy implementation. The Policy Press, Bristol, UK, pp. 21-49. ISBN 1861346050
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This chapter considers some of the dangers of national, centrally-driven evaluations, arguing that the main reason why evaluations cannot explain what works is their relative neglect of the perspectives and experiences of the central actors. It focuses on the connection between ‘the new and quasi-scientific language of programme evaluation’ and the ‘actuarial-interventionist logic of contemporary youth justice’. It shows the ways in which evaluation becomes more a part of a process by which compliance with programme goals can be assured than a scientific attempt to assess the effectiveness of different strategies. It discusses how the Youth Justice Board and the Home Office were seeking clear evidence of the crime reduction that the youth offending flagship was intended to deliver.
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