Policing is not a treatment: alternatives to the medical model of police research

Recent research about policing often aspires to emulate the model of medical research - randomized experiments designed to establish conclusively what works. This approach to scientific research produces instrumental knowledge about the best means to a given end, and it can contribute usefully to ma...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Thacher, David
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
Published: 2001
In:Journal of research in crime and delinquency
Year: 2001, Volume: 38, Issue: 4, Pages: 387-415
Online Access: doi
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Availability in Tübingen:Present in Tübingen.
IFK: In: Z 31
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Summary:Recent research about policing often aspires to emulate the model of medical research - randomized experiments designed to establish conclusively what works. This approach to scientific research produces instrumental knowledge about the best means to a given end, and it can contribute usefully to many important debates in policing. But by itself, it cannot speak to the full range of concerns relevant to criminal justice practice, which is characterized by a great variety and ambiguity of values. Police will benefit from instrumental knowledge, but they will also benefit from better forms of practical reasoning - something that scholarship can help to develop in ways that this article describes. Knowledge about policing should be more like legal knowledge than medical knowledge (or more precisely, than the aspect of medical knowledge that criminal justice scholars have emphasized)
ISSN:0022-4278