Street-level Theories of Change: Adapting the Medical Model of Evidence-based Practice for Policing

Cowen, Nick and Cartwright, Nancy (2019) Street-level Theories of Change: Adapting the Medical Model of Evidence-based Practice for Policing. In: Critical Reflections on Evidence-Based Policing. Routledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice . Routledge, London, pp. 52-71. ISBN 9781138595804

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Evidence-based medicine (EBM), with its evidence hierarchies and emphasis on RCTs, meta-analyses and systematic reviews, sets the model for evidence-based policy almost everywhere, policing no exception. But how closely
should policing follow this model? We argue that RCTs can tell you little about what you need to know for real-world practice: will this policy work where and when you implement it? Defending that it will do so takes good theory. For RCTs to play a role in theory development, they must be set into a larger body of knowledge, including local knowledge about the sites of implementation. Unfortunately the standard EBM model generally ignores the other kinds of knowledge needed. An alternative model for evidence-based policing, similar to that of the new movement for ‘EBM+’ and immanent in the practice of realist synthesis, focuses on the arguments that proposed policing policies will work where and when they are implemented and looks for the evidence needed to support those arguments.

Keywords:evidence-based policy, biomedical model, randomised controlled trials, Meta Analysis, criminal justice, policing, situational deterrence, target hardening
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V511 Epistemology
L Social studies > L310 Applied Sociology
L Social studies > L430 Public Policy
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V550 Philosophy of Science
L Social studies > L231 Public Administration
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B990 Subjects Allied to Medicine not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:37384
Deposited On:03 Oct 2019 13:34

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