Lessons from a field experiment involving involuntary subjects 3,000 miles away
- 195 Downloads
Describe the challenges involved in conducting field experiments that entail a long distance between the research team and the research site.
A summary of the lessons learned from the field experiment of Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE).
Pre-trial planning is especially important when the research team is a long distance from the research site. A good communication strategy helps educate practitioners on the merits of conservative design choices, such as intent-to-treat, and helps to signal the importance of the study and therefore of maintaining the condition assignments and delivering the intervention with fidelity.
Distance creates additional challenges for the research team. These challenges make it even more essential to exploit assets at the research site. Distance creates more uncertainty, which makes pre-planning even more important, but it is expensive. Criminal-justice funding agencies’ support for exploratory studies as precursors to full-blown trials would improve the quality of experimental criminal-justice research.
KeywordsCONSORT Field experiment Randomized controlled trial Involuntary subjects
- Hall, E. A., Zuniga, R., Cartier, J., Anglin, M. D., Danila, B., Ryan, R., et al. (2003). Staying in touch: A fieldwork manual of tracking procedures for locating substance abusers in follow-up studies. 2nd edition. Los Angeles: UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs.Google Scholar
- Hawken, A. (2010). The message from Hawaii: HOPE for probation. Perspectives, The Journal of the American Probation and Parole Association, 34(3), 36–49.Google Scholar
- Hawken, A., & Kleiman, M. (2009). Managing drug-involved probationers with swift and certain sanctions: Evaluating Hawaii’s HOPE. Evaluation report. NCJ 229023. Washington: National Institute of Justice.Google Scholar
- Plint, A. C., Moher, D., Morrison, A., Schulz, K., Altman, D. G., Hill, C., et al. (2006). Does the CONSORT checklist improve the quality of reports of randomized controlled trials? A systematic review. Medical Journal of Australia, 185(5), 263–267.Google Scholar