Realist Evaluation in Practice, sociology homework help

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unit 2 research topic

i am talking about hate crime tell how it relates to race and ethnicity or social change, and explain what you hope to learn from this topic. You will also provide a brief summary of the article.

here is the article–

Realist Evaluation in Practice, Health and Social Work MANSOOR A. F. K AZI London, Sage Publications, 2003 180 pp., ISBN 0-7619-6996-9 ($69.00, paperback) Realist Evaluation in Practice aims to fill a void in the social work literature by demonstrating how the realist paradigm of evaluation research can be applied to the practice of human service programmers. Any review of the book must be grounded in a brief overview of this paradigm. The realist approach, essentially a post-positivist perspective, has emerged over the past 10 years as an alternative to the dominant pragmatic approach to social work evaluation in Britain. The dominant approach only seeks to evaluate whether a programmer works or not. In contrast, realist evaluation posits that the outcomes of a programme can be explained by the causal mechanisms that produce them and the contexts in which they are triggered. The central question, then, is not just whether the programme works, but what features of the programme make it work and why it works with some people but not with others. Realist evaluations generate context mechanism outcome configurations that produce a description of the circumstances under which a programme may be more or less successful. This aims to penetrate beneath the surface to reveal the inner workings of a programme. The methodology is pluralistic. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches can be used. Academic evaluators and social work practitioners enter into a close teacher learner relationship to develop, test and explain the context mechanism outcome configurations. This brief overview should be enough to convince readers that Realist Evaluation in Practice is obviously not an introductory text in programme evaluation. Neither does it provide detailed instructions about how use the realist paradigm. Rather, it demonstrates the application of this approach. Given that the programme-evaluation industry in Australia, as in Britain, is still locked into a pragmatic approach (i.e. does the programme work?), the book offers an important alternative to stand ardevaluation practices. Realist Evaluation in Practice is based on Mansoor Kazi’s PhD thesis, wherein he used realist evaluation with a range of social work programmes. The book opens with a succinct survey of contemporary perspectives in practice evaluation. The limitations of empirical practice, pragmatism and interpretivism are briefly summarised. Kazi argues, quite rightly, that until now there has been no publicly available completed report in social work or health where the realist paradigm has been applied. The next chapter includes an all-too-brief summary of the principles of realist evaluation. Readers without a grounding in the ontology, epistemologies, theoretical perspectives and methodologies of programme evaluation may find this a challenging chapter. Therefore, before tackling Kazi’s book, those unfamiliar with realist evaluation would benefit by first reading Pawson and Tilley’s book Realistic Evaluation (1997), which 350 Book Reviews provides more detail about the foundations, research design and general procedures of the realist approach. The greatest value of Kazi’s book can be found in the subsequent five chapters. Here, he offers detailed case studies of realist evaluation in practice. The evaluation studies draw upon British examples, including adult rehabilitation services, a community of drug users, service users of family support centres and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s Shield Project, which provides services for young people who sexually harm others. For example, the chapter on drug users presents extensive, coded, qualitative data from in-depth interviews at two points of time with five clients. The interviews focused on what the clients’ situations were (i.e. the context), what life goals they wanted to achieve (outcomes) and what the enabling and disabling influences were in achieving these goals (mechanisms). The aim is to develop and assess intervention models that minimise drug use and engage clients in education and employment. Other chapters demonstrate the application of quantitative approaches, as well as a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches, to different projects. Readers should note that a degree of statistical literacy is helpful in interpreting the quantitative data. Most of the analysis involves descriptive statistics, but some data tables venture into binary logistic regression analysis. Social work practitioners who are working with any of these client groups will find these chapters instructive: the context mechanism outcome template shows how data can be assembled to systematically track the effectiveness of interventions with each client and thus explain what works, for whom in works and under what circumstances it works. The short concluding chapter considers the contributions and limitations of the realist evaluation approach. Kazi argues convincingly that, compared with other paradigms, the realist approach enables a deeper understanding of the inner workings of programmes. The book also shows how evaluation can be incorporated into everyday practice. However, readers may be left asking questions about the feasibility of mounting a realist evaluation along the lines demonstrated by Kazi: the evaluation projects are large scale, there are long timelines for integrating the realist effectiveness cycle into practice and a specialist academic evaluator is needed to lead the process. For these reasons, this book is more likely to find a place on the shelf of an academic evaluator rather than a social work practitioner. Reference Pawson R & Tilley N (1997), Realistic Evaluation, London, Sage. JOHN M C DONALD Director Centre for Health Research and Practice, University of Ballarat Book Reviews 351 chapter looks at the incompatible objectives of imprisonment: rehabilitation and cost effectiveness (p. 212). Australian emphasis on the latter has led to practices that increase deviance rather than ameliorating criminal behaviour. Chapter 8 debates the usefulness of alternatives to imprisonment; chapter 9 provides an excellent analysis of how crime is defined and how the community influences such definition. Chapter 10 suggests that the increasing voice for victims of crime can be construed as reduced rights for the offender. The conclusion makes it clear that issues of criminal justice are inseparable from those of social justice and that, as social workers in this domain are well aware, it is those who have least access to social power who are most likely to enter the criminal justice system. The structure of the book makes it an excellent text for those who practice in, or have an interest in, the corrections system. Each chapter offers a mix of information about systems, critique about ideologies that underpin them, a list of issues to consider at the end of each chapter and additional references. The book offers an erudite survey of the legal and criminal justice systems in Australia, as well as being an excellent read. ROSEMARY SHEEHAN Department of Social Work Monash University, Victoria Crime and Society ROB WHITE AND DAPHNE HABIBIS South Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 2005 358 pp., ISBN 0-19-551779-2 ($55.00, paperback) It is my view that, for social workers engaged in direct clinical counselling practice (and perhaps for practicing social workers generally), there are two life issues that are common to our practice across the diverse fields of social work counselling endeavour, namely responding to clients in situations of grief/bereavement and responding to clients affected by crime and violence. Therefore, I am pleased to strongly recommend this book as a book that will be of interest to many in our profession. Crime and Society provides a comprehensive overview, description and analysis of crime in Australian society and is accessible to read for a wide audience. This audience includes social work students, educators, practitioners in areas of sociolegal work and those with an interest in criminology, sociology and social policy, as well as social workers working with persons affected by crime. Although, having noted the audience is broad, the book is clearly intended primarily as a text for students. The book is essentially about crime in Australian society and provides content on the various types of crime. The book also works through social difference and inequality and how this influences and affects the social nature of crime and the impact of crime on Australian communities. Book Reviews 353 After struggling to find a contemporary Australian text on the social aspects of crime and violence for teaching use in student social work field education practicum, this book fulfils my perceived gap in the Australian literature. It is wonderful to be able to review a publication on the Australian social context, Australian institutions and contemporary Australian crime issues rather than North American, UK or other jurisdictions, where it seems much of the social literature on crime is based. The book is organised into two parts. The first part deals with crime and social harm, whereas the second looks at criminality and social division. In the crime and social harm section, there are chapters ranging from crimes of the state and corporations through to violent crime and property crime. I particularly enjoyed reading the chapter on environmental crime because, as is noted in the book, the study of environmental crime is in its infancy in Australia and I certainly learnt more about the issue and some of the theoretical context for this area, such as benchmark information in determining whether environmental harm has occurred and how such harm engages public interest groups in that determination. The second part of the book provides some of the broader analysis and social context, including chapters exploring class, women, ethnicity, juveniles and indigenous peoples. Victims of crime are also discussed in this part. In each part, there are a number of chapters, with the generous and effective use of tables and figures. For students and educators, each chapter includes a series of study and reflection questions, a glossary of terms, further reading lists and relevant websites for that topic area. There is much to like about this book, in my opinion. As mentioned, the Australian focus is the real strength, but so too is the style and writing of the book. The style is easy on the reader; key terms are in bold and followed by a description in the glossary and the well-laid out headings and subheadings help with navigating the content. Further strengths are that individual chapters can be accessed as stand-alone readings and, no doubt, this will be of much assistance to educators and busy social work practionners who may only have time to read a chapter at a time. Although very satisfying and encouraging to read that experiences of marginalised crime in Australia are noted, such as hate crime, I felt that some other forms of marginalised crimes are not touched upon, such as same sex domestic violence. As a practionner working in Sydney’s south-western suburbs, I particularly note and commend the authors for the sensitive manner in which the experience of the gang rapes that occurred in the south-west of Sydney was handled in the book. There is a gap. There is cursory mention and little content on administrative crime in Australia, such as public maladministration, corruption and some of the civil aspects of crime in Australia (e.g. discrimination). Although these gaps are disappointing given the size and influence of Australian governments and public administration, they do not distract from the overall depth of the content. Social workers expecting a clinical focus on the victims chapter will be disappointed because it is not a clinical text, but focuses on the social context 354 Book Reviews around the victim experience and victimology. However, clinicians will find the social context of the victim experience of interest. As I understand it, a key task of a book reviewer is to offer an opinion as to whether the publication is worth purchasing: for sociolegal practionners, students and educators in the area of criminology and those social workers with an interest in crime and society, this book is definitely worth the publication price. ANTHONY M. S CHEMBRI Area Clinical Director Allied Health & Clinical Support Services, Sydney South West Area Health Service Managing Sex Offender Risk, Research Highlights 46

HAZEL K EMSHALL AND GILL M CIVOR (Eds) London and Philadelphia, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2004 256 pp., ISBN-10: 1-84310-197, ISBN-13: 978-1-84310-197-01 No human service practitioner is immune from dealing with issues of sexual offense. Against the current legislative and policy provisions of England, Wales and Scotland, the chapters in this book draw together the available international social and psychological research on managing sex offender risk. Part one identifies The Characteristics of Sexual Offenders: male, female and youngster. Pertinently, the contributors, in identifying behavioural trends, emphasise that sex offenders are not a homogeneous group and display differing motivations and expressions of offending behaviours, such as rape, usually of a known victim previously intimate with the perpetrator, and child abuse, distinguishing low- from the high-deviant category that requires more intensive intervention. As recent publicity of female teachers who have been convicted and jailed for having sex with adolescent male students attests, it is not only males who sexually offend. Kemshall refers to the two models that seek to explain female offending. One model, drawn from the research of Wolfers, contends that women abuse in order to achieve control and power and for some to ‘act out’ their own internalised abusive experiences (p. 53). Saradjian’s holistic model, which takes into account biological and environmental factors, seeks to explain female behaviours of child abuse as mechanisms, learnt from an early age, to satisfy fundamental, including sexual, needs (p. 55). Masson’s chapter on the complexities and challenges in identifying and managing risk factors in the young argues that the research suggests that, with appropriate service provision, re-offending is unlikely excepting for the small proportion of more disturbed young people, often with serious deficits in their social support network’ (p. 82). The empirical research on Assessment and Effective Interventions is presented in the five chapters in part two addressing adults and children. Cognisant of the legal challenges faced by those who may err in their assessments, Grubin identifies four Book Reviews 355 meanings of risk, name;y likelihood, imminence, consequence and frequency of offending or re-offending (p. 92), and details the psychological instruments that have been devised to assess risk. Other contributors address treatment programmes within the penal system, highlighting the tension between punitive and rehabilitative models of intervention and the efficacy of group work and cognitive behavioural programmes in a relatively new field of endeavour (pp. 126 and 129). Beech and Fisher detail treatment programmes in the UK Prison and Probation settings, highlighting that treatment requires an ‘… integrated package, aiming to change sexual arousal, enhance social and empathy skills, restructure offence-supportive attitudes and enhance self-management through the use of relapse prevention techniques’ (p. 138). They argue the need for specialist training of social workers and psychologists to conduct treatment programmes. The concept of therapeutic jurisprudence informs the Australian debates about sex offender risk, as does the need to balance public protection concerns with the individual’s right to liberty. Part three of this book explores Community-Based Risk Management Strategies, but does not explore this debate. England, Scotland and Wales have formed public protection partnerships, particularly between prisons and probation services. Maguire and Kemshall observe that joint protocols have been established on information sharing that disregard the cultural traditions against the passing on of confidential information between ‘welfare’ and ‘enforcement’ agencies when supervising dangerous offenders (p. 211). Public, multi-disciplinary protection panels have been established to jointly plan how to best ‘manage’ individual offenders, decisions that need to be legally defensible. Issues of vigilante groups, the efficacy of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 and the establishment of and public access to a sex offender’s register are addressed in the closing chapter. The Victorian murders of sisters in 2006 in their home, allegedly by their neighbour, known to police to be a sexual predator, reignited these issues in Australia. The scope of this book does not address the challenges faced by social workers/ psychologists in other than clinical or custodial roles. As human resource managers and grievance investigators, practitioners need to assess whether allegations of a sexual offence, criminal or otherwise, are likely to be true and what action is required. Professional registration boards in Victoria deal with allegations of sexual impropriety involving ‘clients’. The ethical dilemmas are many because reputations may be impugned and careers destroyed. The latter is highlighted by the Victorian government reportedly paying a $100 000 settlement to a teacher caught under thezero-tolerance policy and forced to resign ‘after a compulsory police check revealed a prior sexual offense with a minor’, for which he received a good behaviour bond. The settlement transpired after debate as to the issue of whether the legislative provisions under the Victorian Institute of Teaching Act 2001 should allow the exercise of discretion and an appeals process. It was claimed that the sexual relationship was consensual and occurred prior to his teacher training The Age ,22 April 2004, p. 3). Managing Sex Offender Risk is comprehensively referenced and 356 Book Reviews offers the practitioner and researcher alike an invaluable orientating resource to the underpinning debates in what is acknowledged as the imprecise knowledge base of sex offender risk. LOULA S. RODOPOULOS Adjunct Professor School of Global Studies, Social Science & Planning, RMIT University Managing High Risk Sex Offenders in the Community: A Psychological Approach JACKIE C. RAISSATI Hove, Brunner-Routledge, 2004 237 pp., ISBN 1-58391-158-8 ($44.00, paperback) During the past decade, the concept of risk has been used in the social work and criminological literature (see, for examples, Parsloe, 1999; Robinson, 2003). In particular, practitioners who work with criminals in the community and prison have come to think about managing offenders in terms of levels of risk. For instance, in England and Wales, it is now a mandatory requirement in all presentence reports to assess the risks offenders themselves face, such as self-harm, and threats to community safety (Robinson, 2003). This is primarily due to the fact that managing any offender is never an easy task, not to mention the persistent or hardcore criminal. Offenders who abscond from community supervision are circumventing justice and may pose a serious risk to public safety. Managing High Risk Sex Offenders in the Community: A Psychological Approach examines how a social worker, probation officer or parole officer deals with sex offenders in the day-to-day practice with the aim of helping them re-integrate into society. To be more specific, Jackie Craissati primarily focuses her discussion on the adult men who commit contact sexual crimes and are at high risk of sexual re-offending (p. 4). In addition, she discusses the skills and techniques of risk assessment and management for adolescent and female sex offenders. The book is structured into eight chapters and an appendix that contains a number of useful assessment tools for measuring the risk of sexual re-offending. The introductory chapter makes good use of news reports on child sexual abuse and murder cases in England to substantiate the importance of the management of sex offenders. It then discusses thoroughly how risk is defined in the book, indicating that risk is measured according to the likelihood of re-offending, seriousness of victim impact and public interest. Chapter 1 ends with five case studies, each of which is typical of high-risk sex offenders involved in the criminal justice and child protection systems. Chapter 2 is a descriptive chapter that overviews a number of actuarial approaches in risk assessment, such as the Minnesota Sex Offender Screening Tool (Revised), Static 99 and Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide. Readers can refer to the appendices for the full detail of each of these assessment tools. Book Reviews 357 Chapter 3 is concerned with an analysis of the dynamic and static factors associated with the risk of sex re-offending. Although examples of the dynamic factors are the sexual interests, distorted attitudes and attitudes towards children, examples of the static factors are offending history, such as the previous sexual convictions, and personal history, such as intelligence. For those who are not familiar with the ‘What Works’ literature, chapter 3 summarises the essential information surrounding the concept of ‘risk’ in the criminal justice literature. What I find interesting in this book is the author’s attempt to integrate theory with practice by using a lot of case illustration. Yet, readers should bear in mind that all illustrative cases cited are based upon the author’s extensive practice experience in England and they are no means representative of the sex offender population. Chapters 46 give insight into the risk management of sex offenders in the British child welfare, criminal justice and mental health systems and the effective practice principles outlined in these chapters are of relevance. For instance, in chapter 4, great deal of effort is given to a description of the ways the Children Act 1989 aims to protect children from abuse. It also emphasises the importance of assessing both convicted and unconvicted sex offenders properly in order to protect children. There is evidence indicating that previous allegations against the offender are related to the subsequent conviction and sentence. Chapter 5 examines the current legislative framework in England and Wales that encourages the Multi-agency Public Protection Arrangements among different criminal justice agencies, such as the Police Service and formerly Probation Service. Four major factors, including the strengths of the offender, dynamic risk factors of the offender, specific requirements imposed on the community sentence and the resources available, are identified as major considerations when operating risk management principles. Chapter 6 looks at the responses of forensic mental health services in the assessment and management of sex offenders. Several offender treatment programmes, such as the pharmacological treatments for deviant sexual interest and psychological treatment programmes, are introduced as effective intervention approaches to sex offending. Chapters 7 and 8 attempt to summarize what has been covered in the preceding chapters. In chapter 7, case examples are used to illustrate how various concepts, such as risk analysis, assessment, identification and managemen, can be applied when working with sex offenders. Chapter 8 reiterates the risk assessment framework and reconfirms the success of psychological approaches in reducing sex offenders’ reoffending behaviour. In summary, predicting which offenders are likely to re-offend or continue their criminal career has been increasingly discussed among practitioners in the field of child protection, mental health and criminal justice. Managing High Risk SexOffenders in the Community: A Psychological Approach undoubtedly is a welcome addition to the literature that should be read by those who work with sex offenders.The author of this book has a strong belief that actuarial approaches to risk assessment and psychological-based treatment approaches offers the best solutions. In contrast, my view is that instead of relying completely on these assessment tools,358 Book Reviews practitioners should also use their clinical wisdom and professional judgement when engaging in defensible decision making and striving for the best practice.