Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology

Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology
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  • ISBN-13: 9780131189287
  • ISBN: 013118928X
  • Edition: 3
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall


Champion, Dean John


Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology (3/e)is about how to do research and investigate various types of research questions that arise in criminology and criminal justice. Why do police officers sometimes use excessive force when subduing criminal suspects who seemingly offer no resistance to arrest? Why do youths join gangs and commit violent acts? Why do some persons become career criminals? Which types of supervision work best for those on parole? What interventions seem to work best in preventing delinquency? Why do nonwhites seem to receive harsher sentences from judges compared with whites in many jurisdictions? Does the death penalty deter persons from committing murder? Why do public defenders appear less effective in defending their clients against criminal charges in court compared with privately appointed counsel? These are just some of the endless kinds of questions criminologists and criminal justice professionals examine when they conduct research. In the social sciences, there is a broad range of research strategies, including a variety of data collection techniques and other analytical tools that exist to serve the needs of most professionals who conduct different kinds of research investigations. While certain research procedures may be relevant for one type of investigation, these same procedures may not be equally suitable for other investigations. There are many research strategies that investigators may choose to collect information to answer any issues they may choose to investigate. This book explores the entire research process from beginning to end. This exploration begins with an examination of theorizing about different kinds of research questions and why different kinds of events occur. Generally theories are designed to offer explanations for why certain events occur and make predictions about them. There are different kinds of theory that can be used by investigators who want to explain why certain events happen- Because different kinds of theory exist, researchers have choices they can make in deciding which theories are best for assisting them in answering particular research questions. This book examines different types of theory and explains the weaknesses and strengths of these theories for particular research questions. When a particular research question is raised, criminologists don't always agree on which answers to these questions seem most plausible. Every social scientist has a point of view or a frame of reference for viewing different kinds of issues or research questions. These frames of reference almost always influence one's approach taken in attempting to explain crime, delinquency, and other related events. Also, the way a problem or question is examined will suggest a particular theoretical approach. Thus, the relation between frames of reference and theories will be examined. Most criminological investigations involve studying people under different types of circumstances: police officers. judges, inmates of prisons or jails, correctional officers, juveniles, defense counsels and prosecutors, probationers or parolees, probation officers or parole officers, community corrections personnel, including volunteers and paraprofessionals, jury members, those on pretrial diversion, and others. It is beyond the resources of most investigators to study all persons about which information is sought. Therefore, only some of these persons are selected for investigation. This is called sampling. There are many types of sampling, and again, researchers have choices about which types of sampling methods they will use in any given set of circumstances. This book examines sampling procedures in great detail, including a broad discussion of sampling issues. Also, these are many ways information about research questions can be gathered. Information may be gathered by examining public documents in a library. Or persons may be intervieweChampion, Dean John is the author of 'Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology', published 2005 under ISBN 9780131189287 and ISBN 013118928X.

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