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25 J. Res. Crime & Delinquency 3 (1988)

handle is hein.journals/jrcd25 and id is 1 raw text is: 

                               EDITOR'S COMMENTS

   The themes  addressed in this edition of the Journal of Research in
Crime  and Delinquency are among those most frequently appearing in it
in recent years and  perhaps in the general  field of criminological
research as well. They include policy research; in this case, the issue is
not what the most desirable public policies are, but what occurs when
they are implemented. Another article is devoted to theory testing, while
still another to decision research and the existence of inappropriate
discrimination in sentencing. And finally, there is a study of a criminal
justice agency, the measurement  of its output, and its community
   Similarly of interest are the variety of methodologies displayed in
these articles. One employs sophisticated quantitative methods familiar
to social science research, another a model  developed in a setting
removed  from  criminal justice, and a third statistical techniques, also
developed in other settings and elegantly applied to a traditional area of
criminological research. Finally, one article uses qualitative methods
entirely, reflecting a growing interest in the social sciences for techniques
that allow researchers to generalize more broadly than typically allowed
by the rigid canons of quantitative methods and to deal more effectively
with the contexts in which phenomena occur.
   It is the first article in the Journal which employs the nonquantitative
approach. Here, Bordt and Musheno  trace out the sequence of events as
a department of corrections establishes an inmate grievance mechanism
to  obtain certain articulated goals. The writers observe how  that
mechanism  is increasingly transformed over time to serve quite different
ones. Rather  than  providing a neutral forum  where  the views  of
prisoners and  administrators enjoy  relatively equal standing, the
grievance mechanism  in the end is made to serve primarily the needs of
the agency rather than a dispute resolution function.
   In recent years we have seen a number of reforms in the criminal
justice setting become the vehicles by which other agenda within the
criminal justice system are expressed and made to serve ends far distant
from those intended by its originators. This article reminds us that there
is much more involved in the successful implementation of policy than
good  intentions and self-contained rationality. It requires as well an
understanding  of the factors at play that will allow it either to be

from the SAGE Social Science Collections. All Rights Reserved.

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