Descriptive statistics are measures of central tendency used to calculate and summarize data (Vetter, 2017). Descriptive statistics are best suited for large amounts of quantitative data. Mean, median, and mode are the most popular used descriptive statistics, while researchers can also use variance and standard deviation. The chosen prevention program used throughout this course is the Orleans Parish Drug Court Program. Prior to and after the implementation of the program, descriptive statistics will be examined. This program aims to prevent recidivism by ensuring that 75 percent or more of drug court participants graduate. Prior to program implementation, the mean will be examined. Vito and Higgins (2015) stated that the mean is the most used descriptive statistic because it provides a simple dataset average. Evaluators of this program need to understand the current state of the program. The mean graduation/fail rate is necessary prior to program implementation. Also, the mode of drug of choice will be calculated. Treatment providers assisting the Orleans Parish Drug Court Program must understand which drug offenders are frequent participants. Effective drug treatment will result in rehabilitation.
After the implementation of the program, descriptive statistics should be examined. Khorana et al. (2023) stated that measures of central tendency help identify a single value of the distribution set. Following the program's implementation, the mean and median must be examined. As previously stated, the program is designed to increase participant graduation, easing the effects of mass incarceration and recidivism. The mean of the graduation/fail rate will provide evaluators with a clearer picture of the efficacy of the program design. After program implementation, if 75 percent or more of program participants are not graduating, then the program would be considered a failure. However, additional amendments could be garnered. Also, the mode of participants who believe they are better equipped to face societal challenges after drug court is examined. The mode results will determine if practical rehabilitative steps are being taken in the Orleans Parish Drug Court Program. The goal is not simply to graduate participants but prepare them for life’s obstacles.
In 1 Kings 7:23, the Bible says, “He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it” ( New International Version, 1973/2011, 1 Kings 7:23). This Bible verse describes how statistical data represents a larger picture. Vito and Higgins (2015) stated that an evaluator must organize and make the data readable when an evaluation needs calculation. Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 14:11, the Bible says, “If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me.” This Bible verse speaks about readability and simplicity. Descriptive statistics make data more accessible by making it simple, readable, and universal so all disciplines can comprehend the data. Statistics are essential to evaluators because they can better understand how program participants are receiving program implementation. Descriptive statistics are used with small and large datasets.