Evidence-based Crime Policy

Brandon C. Welsh and David P. Farrington

in The Oxford Handbook of Crime and Criminal Justice

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195395082
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Evidence-based Crime Policy

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  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Crime Prevention



This article provides a comprehensive overview of research on and key issues facing the evidence-based movement as it applies to crime and justice. Section I describes the core elements of the evidence-based paradigm with its focus on the most scientifically valid evaluation studies and the most rigorous methods for assessing evidence. It also includes a discussion of economic analyses. Section II discusses crucial linkages that exist between research and policy processes, including research on the use of evaluations in public policy. Section III overviews the institutional base of the evidence-based approach, from its beginnings in medicine to social sciences more generally, including the development of the Campbell Collaboration and its Crime and Justice Group. Section IV reports on key developments that have advanced evidence-based crime policy in a number of leading Western countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Section V outlines the main challenges that confront an evidence-based approach.

Keywords: evidence-based approach; crime; justice; public policy; Campbell Collaboration; crime policy

Article.  14513 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Crime Prevention

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