What Works: Rhetoric, Reality and Research

Published 13/10/2004
Type Article
Author(s) George Mair
Corresponding Authors George Mair, Liverpool John Moores University

The What Works initiative in England and Wales has been vaunted as an example of evidence-based policy/practice. Yet despite such claims, the research base is limited and not strong enough to support a national programme. Various reasons for the limited use of research in criminal justice are examined, most of which are related to misunderstandings of what research can offer and how it is used. The purchaser-provider model of commissioning research consigns researchers to a lesser role. Given the current political climate and the rise of the Campbell Collaboration, there are good reasons to be anxious about the well-being of imaginative, innovative research.