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Creating an Operational Hypothesis of Recidivism Reduction

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The current research involves the testing of the amount of decrease in recidivism rates after a using a new program for treatment. Recidivism is the possibility of repetition of an undesirable behavior after undergoing the negative impact of such (Zamble, 2001). Criminologists usually aim at bringing new treatments to reduce the rates of recidivism. Whenever recidivism rates are compared, time elapsed since the treatment is taken as constant. If one says that the rate is 20% within two years, this implies that of every 100 persons undergoing the treatment, twenty people have repeated the undesirable behavior.

The hypothesis of the research will be a two tail hypothesis. In this type of a hypothesis, there are two possibilities that are being tested. (WSU, 2004) The test is of a change in the recidivism rates if a new treatment is used. There are two random samples that are going to be compared thus our focus has to be on the difference between the treatments each sample represents. If the difference is negative i. e. the new treatment method produces a lower recidivism rate than all the traditional treatment methods combined, then it will be proved that the new treatment method is more effective.

Based on the analysis above, the null hypothesis shall be the opposite of what is being tested. Given that the use of the new treatment method and the traditional treatment methods combined are both related to the recidivism rates over a period of two year, the null hypothesis can charted as: Among first time drug offenders, the boot camp treatment program will produce recidivism rates which are nearly equal to recidivism rated produced by all traditional treatment programs combined.

The research hypothesis thus can be stated as: Among first time drug offenders, the boot camp treatment program will produce recidivism rates that are significantly different from the recidivism rates produced by all traditional treatment programs combined. Independent Variable This variable is manipulated to test the impact on the dependent variable. In this case the independent variable is the use of a treatment method.

However, as the case has two samples corresponding to two treatment methods, we can say that the independent variable involves two variables which are the boot camp treatment program and all traditional treatment programs combined. Dependent Variable The only variable that is going to be impacted is the recidivism rate which will depend on the independent variable. According to this case, a change in the treatment program may or may not cause a significant change in the recidivism rates.

Conclusion If there is a significant difference in the recidivism rates produced by the two treatment programs, it could be used to infer the effectiveness of the new method that is being applied. If the difference is positive i. e. the new rates are greater than the old, then it can be implied that the new method is relatively less effective and vice versa. If no significant difference is found, then it is assumed that both methods are equally effective.

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