• Center for Problem oriented policing

POP Center Tools Assessing Responses to Problem, 2nd Ed Readings

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Recommended Reading List

There are numerous books and articles describing how to conduct evaluations. Listed here are some that I have found helpful to graduate students, are essential standard readings, or were written specifically for police and are available on the web.

If you want to develop an expertise in the area of evaluation, then you will need to take masters- and doctoral-level courses. But much can be learned and usefully applied by reading beyond this introductory guide.


Bachman, Ronet, and Russell K. Schutt. 2013. The Practice of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage. This college level text provides a well written description of the theory and practice of data collection, measurement, and research design as applied to criminal justice research and evaluation.

Campbell, Donald T., and Julian C. Stanley. 1963. Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Research. New York: Houghton Mifflin. Though over 50 years old, this is still the “bible” of evaluation designs. Virtually every methods text adapts material from this source. It is still indispensable and
though short and to the point, this book is not a fast read.

Clarke, Ronald V., and John E. Eck. 2005. Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers: In 60 Small Steps. Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing. Available at: http://www.popcenter.org/learning/60steps/. Contains several brief sections describing the evaluation of problem-solving efforts, as well as a brief summary of displacement and diffusion of benefits.

Converse, Jean M., and Stanley Presser. 1986. Survey Questions: Handcrafting the Standardized Questionnaire. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage. This book is a standard reference in survey research.

Blair, Johnny, Ronald F. Czaja, and Edward Blair. 2013. Designing Surveys: A Guide to Decisions and Procedures. Los Angeles: Sage. A good introduction to designing surveys.

Eck, John E., and Nancy LaVigne. 1993. Police Guide to Surveying Citizens and Their Environment. Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Justice Assistance. NCJ Number: 143711. Available at http://www.popcenter.org/library/reading/PDFs/Surveying_Citizens.pdf. This monograph describes the basics of conducting surveys of the public and surveys of physical environment. It contains a number of examples and survey instruments.

Eck, John E. 2005. “Evaluations for Lesson Learning.” In N. Tilley, ed. A Handbook for Crime Prevention: Theory, Policy and Practice. Pp. 699-733. Cullompton, Devon: Willan. An academic treatment of the role of evaluation in improving crime prevention.

Guerette, Rob T. 2009. Analyzing Crime Displacement and Diffusion. Problem-Solving Tools Guide No. 10. Washington, D.C.: Office of Community Policing Services. Available at: http://www.popcenter.org/tools/displacement/. A thorough readable guide to displacement written for police practitioners.

Kosslyn, Stephen M. 1993. Elements of Graph Design. New York: W.H. Freeman. This well-organized graphical-design book offers practical and straightforward advice on how to create effective charts, graphs and figures with data. It is filled with good and bad examples.

Shadish, William R., Thomas D. Cook, and Donald T. Campbell. 2001. Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Generalized Causal Inference. Belmont, California: Wadsworth. This is the much longer follow-up to the Campbell and Stanley monograph. It is dense, but thorough. If you seek to master the topic of evaluations, you must consult this standard text.

Trochim, William, and James P. Donnelly. 2007. The Research Methods Knowledge Base. Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning. This college text was designed for use on-line, but is available in a paperback version. It is very practical and shows how to create complex evaluation designs out of simpler designs in order to address peculiar situations. It also contains an excellent discussion of measurement and sampling.

Weisburd, David, and Chester Britt. 2014. Statistics in Criminal Justice. New York: Springer. This is a very well-written introductory college text in statistics, taking the reader from the very basics to an intermediate level.

Weisel, Deborah. 1999. Conducting Community Surveys: A Practical Guide for Law Enforcement Agencies. Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Justice Statistics and Office of Community Oriented Policing. (October) NCJ #:178246. Available at http://www.popcenter.org/library/reading/PDFs/Conducting_
Surveys.pdf. This practical guide for law enforcement agencies accompanies the Crime Victimization Survey Software developed by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. It describes how surveys have been used to improve policing services, ways to
identify survey goals and procedures for survey administration and analysis.

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