Policy Monitoring and Policy Evaluation
Policy monitoring refers to the systematic collection, analysis, and tracking of policy or program progress after adoption. Moreover, to ascertain its effectiveness in attaining its predetermined objectives and management decisions. Criminal justice systems utilize policy evaluation through surveys and observations. In addition, benchmarking, and assessing work performance and output (“Criminal Justice Program Evaluation – Criminal Justice – IResearchNet,” 2021) (Policy Monitoring and Policy Evaluation).
Due to limited resources, policy monitoring has become critical. Moreso, for policymakers, implementers, donors, and managers, to acquire information applicable to policy development, adoption, and implementation.
Policy evaluation refers to a process through of making judgments on implemented policies and programs based on costs, impacts, efficiency, quality, and goal attainment. In the criminal justice system, policy evaluation determines the consequences of policies and assesses the achievement and the failure over a particular period. Therefore, policy evaluation assesses program quality, makes decisions about the future of a program, and ascertains implementation and outcomes(Policy Monitoring and Policy Evaluation).
Policy monitoring and evaluation are significant in ensuring accountability and practice improvement. Due to the ever-changing environment, criminal justice departments conduct policy changes throughout their systems regularly (Binswanger et al., 2019). The policy monitoring process facilitates policy and program efficiency by assessing data quality obtained from different jurisdictions through data collection and maintenance (Policy Monitoring and Policy Evaluation).
In addition, monitoring allows criminal justice personnel to access feedback reports on the quality and applicability of programs. As opposed to monitoring, program evaluation is conducted at later stages after implementation in a process. It follows a line of inquiry as to how policies adopted reflect desired effects and inform the likelihood of modifications to produce efficiencies. Therefore, they are interdependent, informing adjustments to achieve optimal efficiency and effectiveness(Policy Monitoring and Policy Evaluation).
Consequently, both apply to criminal justice policy under the same functionalities but applied at different stages. For example, monitoring determines the success or failure of policies during evaluation process, while evaluation ascertains the effectiveness of policies (“Policy Monitoring and Evaluation – OECD,” 2021). Similarly, criminal justice systems will conduct evaluations at the societal level to ensure adopted policies are relevant and effective and monitor response policies(Policy Monitoring and Policy Evaluation).
Binswanger, I., Maruschak, L., Mueller, S., Stern, M., & Kinner, S. (2019). Principles to guide national data collection on the health of persons in the criminal justice system. Public Health Reports, 134(1_suppl), 34S-45S. doi: 10.1177/0033354919841593
Criminal justice program evaluation – Criminal Justice – IResearchNet. (2021). Retrieved 16 June 2021, from http://criminal-justice.iresearchnet.com/criminology/research-methods/program-evaluation/
Policy Monitoring and Evaluation – OECD. (2021). Retrieved 16 June 2021, from https://www.oecd.org/gov/policy-monitoring-evaluation.htm