Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology

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Question #1: (Review Chapter 8)

In the United States, Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) program collects data on substance abuse visits made to hospital emergency departments in a contiguous way. Hospitals which are incorporated in DAWN program include nonfederal, short-stay, general hospitals characterized with day round operations.  Therefore, DAWN gives a relatively good sample of United States. To improve the representative aspect of DAWN, 21 hospitals in major metropolitan geographical location are also incorporated in the data collection. DAWN program also gathers information on deaths related to drugs using nonrandom samples achieved through critical medical analysis reports.

Drug Abuse Warning Network data publishes its data every year in what they refer to as DAWN Medical Examiner Data. This publications data are among the highly relied on national drug use indicators which remain helpful to studies and policymaking to in coming up with initiatives to deal with drug menace in the country. Unfortunately, Drug Abuse Warning Network only records drug-related data only on those people entering the specified emergency room because of drug use.  This can end up affecting the generalization of the data to the entire United States from the fact that, what gets collected as information is only a reflection of most adverse drug use issues.  It, therefore, means that minor drug use effects do not find a way into DAWN system despite the fact that they are equally important.  DAWN data analysis also demands that one must be well vast with cases that find a way into DAWN program. DAWN’s emergency-room system records overdose cases as was detoxification seekers in the emergency room or persons with chronic drug effects. In a typical situation, there is always no necessity for emergency care. As a result, cases end up being vulnerable to reflect other human aspects instead of medical reports. Data collection in facilities that constitute the sample of DAWN program is always done by reporter affiliated with the service or a staff in charge of. They ensure proper case entry in the down system for purposes of analysis. Demographic data and episode situations including date, ED visit time as well as the reason to visit the ED characterizes the records DAWN report outlines how the person acquired the drug, where the drug came from and how it is administered. Unfortunately, DAWN reports only present a single explanation for substance abuse.  The compiled report gets routed to SAMHSA to get entered.

One of the greatest strength of DAWN program is that its sampling picks relevant participants with pertinent information.  This situation increases validity in the analysis made from their data.  Since all data collection is strategically placed in medical facilities, it saves time that would be needed to look for it.  This extends to reducing costs. Sampling from the vast population is also the strength of this program from the fact that it profoundly represents the American population.  Despite this strength, DAWN program sampling practices have some weaknesses when it only focuses on serious drug problems reported to selected hospitals. This sampling approach leaves many cases not incorporated in the data collection and of which, some would have significant effects on analysis. There is, therefore, need to broaden the sampling bias to get the real picture of drug issues in the United States.

Question #2:  (Review Chapter 9)

When carrying out research on Domestic Violence, some questions on the questionnaires can include; does domestic violence negatively affect the family? Does domestic make women suffer? Are the women principal perpetrators of domestic violence in the society? Are there victim situations that force people to become domestic violence offenders?   Looking at such questions reveals a lot.  Questions are biased presents negativity of domestic violence.  In the end,   respondents will be triggered to respond yes to the last issue. Their reliability of survey design reliability depends on many. Lack encouragement among respondents can lead to inaccurate and dishonest answers. From a critical viewpoint, survey design promotes high representativeness. Surveys create a significant level of over howl capability to represent a big population.  Because of the great number of answers to the survey, the data gathered posses a wider description of relevant aspects of the general population in the study. When compared to other data gathering methods, surveys manage to extract data that seem near to the exact descriptions of the vast population. While carrying out surveys, one only has to pay for survey questionnaires production. Critically, If one needs a bigger sample of the population, allotting an incentive in cash or kind, which takes very little costs is easily done as compared to other data gathering methods like focus groups as well as personal interviews survey design are also convenient in  data gathering and  best in  statistical significance (Lanier, Lisa 2014). Using survey design promotes little or no observer subjectivity. This enhances the reliability of the outcome. In research design, there is high precision in measuring the collected data. On the other hand, survey design is inflexible and not ideal for controversial issues. There are also possibilities of inappropriateness in questions

Question #3:  (Review Chapter 11)

Gaining of more knowledge is substantially achieved when Field research is used.  One of its great strengths is that it allows the researcher to attain initial experience and expertise of topics under research. Field research is the only method that provides a real close-up view of real situations. This Field research strength stipulates that researchers with the opportunity to get highly detailed information on topics as compared to other study methods. Field research continues to be a perfect approach to understanding the social role in determining lives and processes. Field research provides wider intricacies and routine complexity understanding and reveals experience elements as well as interactions among people. This strength has unique for field research. Unlike other approaches such as surveys and interviews which present inadequacy, field research gives the respondents the opportunity to answer questions that increase knowledge seeking. Field research makes it easy for the respondents to give further information through conscious and unconscious responses. Basing on the fact that field research takes a long period o time, it becomes the best alternative to revealing social facts that are difficult to discover immediately. It cannot be disputed that Field research provides an opportunity to gather detailed information.  Just like any other methods, it has its limitations. One of the limitations is that field research focus on detailed issues. This situation makes it by necessity to become somewhat narrow. People who use this approach in many cases fail to collect information data from as many subjects as the survey research provides. In many situations, people who use this method often sacrifice their breadth for depth. This research approach demands a lot of time, leave alone being extremely emotionally tiresome.  I some situations, Interview analysis requires researcher and participants rapport building which take a lot of time.  Therefore, conducting field research on issues such as shoplifting can easily incriminate the investigator.  The same case applies to the wearing of seat belts, and bars. Field research can also be a riddle on a topic like violence since carrying of field research can demand that one becomes a perpetrator. Therefore, field research on subjects remains hard from the fact that the research can find himself conflicting with the law and hence, it can attract repercussions for the researcher.

Question #4:  (Review Chapter 12)

From my personal view, formal content analysis for graffiti will oblige me to come up with steps that distinguish manifest and latent content, units of analysis, and coding rules of the study. The first phase will be identifying the content that I will analyze.  For this study, it is aspects of graffiti. Graffiti content can be huge, and therefore, picking particular issues makes analysis easier. I come up with strategies to ensure that the graffiti aspects become a sample.

After this step, I will develop content units. The reason to do this is to ease content counting.  Therefore, my graffiti corpus will have units with the same size.  The step that will follow will be preparing the content for coding purposes. Prior content analysis, ensuring a proper form of preserving the data for easy analysis will be a priority. Hence, I will devise graffiti transcription prior the start of content analysis. Changing graffiti content into written and a computer readable document takes time but since it is vital. I will carry out full transcription while preserving analysis quality. I will achieve this through content interviewing by substituting all the transcriptions. After doing so, I will move to Coding. I will use a similar way of coding answers in a survey by making graffiti data summary and inserting them into groups. The purpose of doing this will be to lower numbers of data to make comparisons easy.  Sort graffiti concepts into groups and making each group to have concepts that are similar to each other and different from ideas in another group will become my strategy. After content interviewing, counting and weighing will be the next step in graffiti analysis. Counting will become comfortable with the fact that I will ensure all the data is kept my computer file and utilize the computer to count. I will then use Atlas TI qualitative software from the fact that analyzing graffiti is a complex task. After the whole process, I will come up with conclusions for my content analysis. It will involve coming out with trends that are presented by my graffiti analysis.My content graffiti that I will submit in my graffiti analysis will become objects of comparison with existing or perceptions on graffiti. Similarly, my content can also be analyzed against other studies.  Comparing two or more corpora makes content analysis to be an informant. Personally, I will prefer two content analyses at one time with diverse corpora and comparing my graffiti content analysis with what other analysis will have carried out. Keeping in mind same coding frames for my two corpora will make me manage to compare the analysis with ease.

Question #5: (Review Chapter 13)

Ability to allow some flexibility is one of the major advantages of completely randomized designs.  In these designs, any number of treatments and replicates can be comfortably be used. Randomized designs are also relatively easy in statistical analysis. This can be conveniently applied where variable replicates and variable experimental errors for different treatments exist. Randomized designs make analysis also simple when data misses. Completely randomized designs also provide for the maximum number freedom level for error for a certain number of experimental units and even treatments. On the other hand, randomized designs have their setbacks. Among them is that they present relatively reduced accuracy from the fact that there are no limitations that promote environmental alterations to enter into an experimental error. Another disadvantage is that it does not suite large amounts of treatments from the fact that large experimental material volume is a necessity, thus widening the variation. When the experimental material appears similar, for instance in growth chamber studies, completely randomized design remain an option. Where there is the likelihood of experimental unit’s fraction getting destroyed or failure in response rate or small studies characterized with limited freedom, completely randomized are the most relevant.


Lanier, Mark, and Lisa T. Briggs, Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology: A  Mixed Methods Approach. , 2014. Print.

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