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20 J. Res. Crime & Delinquency 1 (1983)

handle is hein.journals/jrcd20 and id is 1 raw text is: 













Editor's Comments                    The lead article in the January
1982 issue of the Journal ofResearch in Crime and Delinquency was writ-
ten by Rodney Stark and his colleagues and described the conditions under
which religious commitment operated as a restraining force on delinquent
behavior. Coincidentally, at the start of 1983 Stark and his colleagues
again author the lead article in the Journal, and again it is an article of
significance to researchers in the field of crime and delinquency.
     The writers identify a number of data sets existing before the 1930s,
some of which trace back to the 19th Century, that can be used for criminal
justice analysis. They make a convincing case about the efficacy of these
data in general and demonstrate in specific cases how they may be em-
ployed. Pursuing once again a religious theme, for example, they show a
strong negative correlation between church membership and crime, and
by analyzing these two variables against a third, population turnover,
they are able to distinguish two forms of deviance, impulsive and utili-
tarian, upon which they are able to comment.
     Stark and his associates then use these data to examine correlations
between  detention rates, population turnover, and church membership.
They make  some interesting comments about the assertions of those who
have written from a critical perspective about the juvenile court-the crit-
ics of the so-called child savers movement. It is a demonstration of how
these data can be brought to bear on theoretical questions which in turn
have important policy implications. The authors have performed a service
to all of those in the field by focusing our attention on these valuable
sources. Examination of these and similar ones undoubtedly will be stimu-
lated by this article, and it is certain that in the future it will result in new
articles in this journal and others.
     The next three articles in the Journal deal with the difficult area of
evaluative research. The first, by Blomberg, is conceptual and addresses
the issue of evaluative research with respect to treatment effects. In this
instance it is diversion programs, but he goes on to discuss the general
case. Blomberg underscores the need to identify: (1) the types of persons
subjected to the intervention in sufficient complexity to be able to measure
results differentially; (2) the specific kind of services rendered, an impor-
tant point because often what may be called a treatment intervention


JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN CRIME AND DELINQUENCY, JANUARY 1983


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