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15 J. Res. Crime & Delinquency 1 (1978)

handle is hein.journals/jrcd15 and id is 1 raw text is: 

                  Editor's Comments



  In the last decade there has been a developing emphasis on research directed
toward   immediate  problem   solving, as distinct from  disciplinary-based
research with its stress on theory building. Most commonly   referred to as
policy research, such efforts are directed toward existing difficulties in the real
world. They may  be addressed through the perspective of a single discipline but
more  frequently involve several disciplines. Whatever the approach, the re-
search ultimately is linked to a decision that must be made.
  This issue of the Journal of Research contains a series of articles which ex-
emplify three lines of policy-related criminological research. All are concerned
with  decisions to be made  about the  control of crime or management   of
offenders. These studies are not so much concerned with understanding the eti-
ology of crime as with direct measures to deal with it.
  The  lead article is authored by a respected figure in American social psy-
chology, Theodore  Newcomb,   and describes part of an extensive research pro-
ject in the juvenile justice system. It addresses the problem of the management
and  behavioral control of those who are incarcerated in juvenile institutions.
While  this is a familiar line of inquiry, what makes this article especially im-
portant is its scope and breadth. Continuing a practice begun in our last issue,
Newcomb's   article was submitted to two authorities for their comment. Carl
Jesness, reflecting on the general value of this kind of research, discusses the
conditions under which such research is valuable to decisionmakers. Maynard
Erickson  raises some fundamental questions about the conclusions to which
this type of research often leads. He questions whether some of those conclu-
sions are appropriate.
  Another  segment  of this issue is devoted to four articles that arise from a
familiar perspective in contemporary criminological research, namely, system
performance. This idea traces its modern lineage to the American Bar Associ-
ation's studies in the 1960s and the President's Crime Commission on Law En-
forcement and  the Administration of Justice. It is an approach undergirded as
well by a pervasive intellectual attraction in the social sciences and the policy
arts to systems analysis. Both of these influences place considerable emphasis
on key decision points in the criminal justice network as the focus of analysis.
  The  articles presented in this segment look at three decision points in the
criminal justice system and raise significant issues about the character of those
decisions. Richard Lundman,  Richard Sykes, and John Clark, in the tradition
of Black and Reiss, attempt to scale the relative strength of various influences
on  the official response to deviant behavior, most specifically the decision to
arrest. John Hepburn seeks to determine the relationship between race and the
decision to  arrest, and Carl Pope  examines  the  social and legal factors
associated with the decision to release or retain burglar arrestees prior to trial.
Marvin  Bohnstedt  pursues an evaluation strategy which has important impli-


JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN CRIME AND DELINQUENCY, January 1978


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