The Assessment of Penological Effectiveness; The Rapsheet Model of Evaluation

The evaluation of correctional programs has relied too much on "rapsheets." Although this model of evaluation is suitable for some programs, for most the results will distort the realities of good programs, often with the unfortunate effect of ending the program unnecessarily. I present here a critique of a well-known evaluation of group counselling in a California prison. The evaluation followed the "rapsheet" model and the program was terminated, Lessons form this needless misfortune are offered and some more realistic alternatives are suggested.