Performance Measurement and Accountability Systems

Nerea Marteache and Michael Maxfield

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online April 2011 | | DOI:
Performance Measurement and Accountability Systems

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Performance measurement is one of a family of tools to rationalize and evaluate the actions of people working in complex organizations. It also commonly refers to evaluation of subunits in organizations. In all cases, performance measurement serves an accountability function that is most important for public organizations, or subunits of private organizations that cannot be easily evaluated on an economic “bottom line.” This is a defining feature, and the most basic function of performance measures: because performance on objective criteria is difficult, other measures and systems must be devised. References here center on organizations and subunits, not on individuals. Various human resources efforts have developed scales or protocols to rate individual performance on a series of items. On the other hand, unit-level performance measurement has much in common with certain approaches to process and outcome evaluations. Some references included here describe evaluation approaches often used in performance measurement. The guide begins with broader examples of performance measurement generally. Much of this stems from efforts in public administration to “reinvent” public organizations so that they are more attentive to assessing service quality. And like so much in public administration, performance measurement has been adapted from tools used in private-sector organizations, usually in back-office units that support revenue-generating activities. We then consider efforts to develop performance measurement in different domains of justice agencies. Most attention in recent years has been devoted to police performance measurement, in connection with problem-oriented policing, community policing, and the use of data-based accountability systems generally known as Compstat (derived from practices introduced into the New York Police Department). Interest in performance measurement has expanded in other areas of criminal justice, especially community-based corrections and related efforts to divert problems from formal adjudication.

Article.  9499 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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