Randomized Controlled Trials

Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard in research, producing causal evidence about the efficacy and impact of policies and programs.

A randomized controlled trial, or RCT, is considered the gold standard in research. A RCT is a rigorous study that randomly assigns participants to either a “treatment group” who are offered the intervention, or a “control group” who have access to all other services except for the intervention. By measuring what would have happened to the treatment group without the intervention, an RCT lets researchers isolate the effect of the intervention itself.  

The Crime Lab uses RCTs as our preferred method of project evaluation wherever possible. While RCTs can be time and resource intensive, they generate high-quality results to ensure that our partners and policymakers can make informed decisions about how to best support communities affected by gun violence. 

Latest Updates

The people’s plan for community safety – even more needed
Op-Ed
Chicago Tribune
May 2024

The people’s plan for community safety – even more needed

Read Crime Lab Faculty Director Jens Ludwig’s latest op-ed arguing that to reduce violence, we should leverage data science to figure out how to get more social good out of what the city is already spending on evidence-based strategies such as community violence intervention programs.

Reset with Sasha-Ann Simons: Can police misconduct be stopped before it starts?
Podcast
WBEZ
May 2024

Reset with Sasha-Ann Simons: Can police misconduct be stopped before it starts?

Crime Lab Senior Research Director Greg Stoddard joins Patrick Smith on WBEZ Reset to discuss results from a new study of an algorithm that can help identify which officers are likely to commit misconduct.

U. of C. study shows cops at high risk of misconduct also at elevated risk for off-duty trouble
Media Mention
Chicago Tribune
May 2024

U. of C. study shows cops at high risk of misconduct also at elevated risk for off-duty trouble

The Chicago Tribune’s Caroline Kubzansky speaks with Crime Lab Senior Research Director Greg Stoddard to discuss results from a new study of an officer support system.