Randomized experiments in criminology: What have we learned in the last two decades?

  title={Randomized experiments in criminology: What have we learned in the last two decades?},
  author={David P. Farrington and Brandon C. Welsh},
  journal={Journal of Experimental Criminology},
This paper aims to review randomized experiments in criminology with offending outcomes and reasonably large numbers that were published between 1982 and 2004. A total of 83 experiments are summarized, compared with only 35 published between 1957 and 1981: 12 on policing, 13 on prevention, 14 on corrections, 22 on courts, and 22 on community interventions. Randomized experiments are still relatively uncommon, but there have been more large-scale multi-site experiments and replication programs… Expand
A Half Century of Randomized Experiments on Crime and Justice
The number of randomized experiments on crime and justice with a minimum of 100 participants more than doubled between 1957 and 1981, when there were thirty‐seven, and between 1982 and 2004, whenExpand
Longitudinal and Experimental Research in Criminology
Longitudinal and experimental studies in criminology have advanced substantially since publication of my Crime and Justice reviews of longitudinal studies (in 1979) and randomized experiments (inExpand
Experimental Criminology: Randomized Experiments in Criminology
LONGITUDINAL-EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES Farrington (1983) and Farrington and Welsh (2005, 2006) reviewed randomized experiments in criminology with the following features: (1) at least fifty units (e.g.,Expand
Randomized experiments in Scandinavian criminal justice: Reviewing the past and looking to the future
Randomized controlled trials are reported on with increasing frequency within the criminological literature. This development, which is commonly seen as being a part of a global shift towardsExpand
Instrumental variables methods in experimental criminological research: what, why and how
Quantitative criminology focuses on straightforward causal questions that are ideally addressed with randomized experiments. In practice, however, traditional randomized trials are difficult toExpand
Key longitudinal-experimental studies in criminology
Following the tradition of Joan McCord's work, this paper reviews longitudinal-experimental studies in criminology with community samples of at least 100 persons, follow-up periods of at least 5Expand
The lack of experimental research in criminology—evidence from Criminology and Justice Quarterly
Despite experiments being termed the “gold standard,” criminology has been slow to adopt experimentation as a methodology. The goal of this research note is to better understand the use ofExpand
Block Randomized Trials at Places: Rethinking the Limitations of Small N Experiments
ObjectivesPlace-based policing experiments have led to encouraging findings regarding the ability of the police to prevent crime, but sample sizes in many of the key studies in this area are small.Expand
The power few: experimental criminology and the reduction of harm
The promise of experimental criminology is finding ways to reduce harm from crime and injustice. The problem of experimental criminology is that so few experiments produce evidence of big effectsExpand
An Introduction to Experimental Criminology
Experimental criminology is scientific knowledge about crime and justice discovered from random assignment of different conditions in large field tests. This method is the preferred way to estimateExpand


British Randomized Experiments on Crime and Justice
A number of randomized experiments are summarized that were carried out in Great Britain in the 1960s and 1970s to investigate influences on offending and the effectiveness of interventions to reduceExpand
A Short History of Randomized Experiments in Criminology
It is concluded that feast and famine periods are influenced by key individuals and policy makers, practitioners, funders, the mass media, and the general public need better education in research quality so that they can tell the difference between good and poor evaluation studies. Expand
One of the major changes in juvenile justice during the past decade has been the increased reliance on restitution as a sanction for juvenile offenders. Although a great deal has been learned duringExpand
Randomized Experiments on Crime and Justice
An experiment investigates the effect of changes in one factor (the independent variable) on another (the dependent variable). The independent variable is under the control of the researcher. AExpand
Deterrent effects of police raids on crack houses: A randomized, controlled experiment
We tested the block-level deterrent effects on crime of uniformed police raids of crack houses. Court-authorized raids were legally possible on 207 blocks with at least five calls for police serviceExpand
Scared Straight — California Style
Juvenile awareness is a controversial practice that received much impetus after the showing of the TV documentary “Scared Straight” in 1978-1979. Despite proliferation of such programs nationwide,Expand
A systematic review of drug court effects on recidivism
Drug courts have been proposed as a solution to the increasing numbers of drug involved offenders entering our criminal justice system, and they have become widespread since their introduction inExpand
Analyses of official records collected over a two-year follow-up period show that DTC is reducing crime in a population of drug-addicted offenders. Expand
Does Community Service Rehabilitate better than Short‐term Imprisonment?: Results of a Controlled Experiment
Community service, along with other new sanctions, has been recommended in many Western countries as an alternative to incarceration over many years. Despite a rich literature on evaluations ofExpand
Scared Straight and Other Juvenile Awareness Programs for Preventing Juvenile Delinquency: A Systematic Review of the Randomized Experimental Evidence
It is found that the intervention on average is more harmful to juveniles than doing nothing, and governments should institute rigorous programs of research to ensure that well-intentioned treatments do not cause harm to the citizens they pledge to protect. Expand