Criminal Law Research Proposal Example
Field Test Data Gathering Approach
The study will be conducted within the greater Detroit area in Michigan, which is a city with a population of 688,701 (US Census Bureau, 2013). With the help of the community, Neighborhood watch, and the police personnel in each district the qualitative and quantitative data will be collected following the phenomenological and ethnographic approaches. The former encompasses the method of studying the small number of subjects through prolonged and extensive involvement in order to develop an understanding of the variables and the relation of the perceived meanings (pre.ethics.gc.ca, 2015). In terms of the ethnographic approach, the study will encompass a period of observation in which the subjects will be observed within their natural environment to determine patterns, which will be substantiated by the quantitative data from the structured interview and administered survey.
The intended population of participants for this field test would be the law enforcers, the residents, and the crime perpetrators in the city. Since Detroit is considerably among the cities in the United States with significantly high crime rates, the selected method will fit effectively for the intended population. The first segment of the data gathering approach is to employ the use of a questionnaire adopted from the Sample Survey of Law Enforcement Agencies form CJ-44 published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2007). On the other hand, selecting the research participants involves the application of general criteria as follows:
Richness of information that the participant can impart
Professional level of the participant in their respective field
Participants who can clearly articulate and demonstrate their experiences
Data Collection Procedure
A protocol consisting of a questionnaire including an interview coursed through e-mail, telephone, and personal contact, and field observation will be utilized to collect the data pertinent data for this study. The first phase of the data collection procedure involves sending emails to the leaders of the neighborhood watch, police district departments, and selected residents of the city. The primary point of contact is through email where the invitation to participate will be sent out. The email will also include a waiver stating the specific purpose and use of the information obtained as intended solely for the study. Once the approval to participate is received, the survey form will be mailed for distribution, which will include a pre-paid return envelope to send the questionnaires back. The time frame for the questionnaire distribution is one week and another week for the participants to answer the questionnaires. A total of three weeks will be allocated to complete the written survey.
Once all the survey questionnaires are complete and collected, the next phase of the data gathering approach is to conduct a field observation. A letter of intent will be sent out to the various police districts in Detroit seeking for permission to conduct observations. It is important to indicate that the researcher will not be involved and do anything that will interfere with the police operations and apprehension activities. A disclaimer will be also included in the letter of intent indicating the limitations of the researcher as outlined in the SSO (Systematic Social Observation guidelines) published by the national Institute of Justice (Mastrofski et al., 1998). Complying with the guidelines set by NIJ will include a completely accomplished Police Observer Information Form adopted from Form 1904 being issued in the City of Lakeway in Texas Police Bureau (tx-lakeway2.civicplus.com, 2003). The importance of the prescribed regulations is to protect the researcher from harm and or any legal consequences
The preliminary process of measuring the outcomes of the selected approach is to read all the questionnaire responses and transcribe the collected data from interviews to get a sense of the emerging patterns and identify relationships according to the theme of the research. The next step is to identify significant statements that provide advances on the central phenomenon being studied including the meanings that that are being organized into themes. Color-coding will be employed to separate themes into categories and relate descriptions according to the lived experiences of the participants. In terms of the quantitative aspects of the study, the measurement method will use statistical functions such as categorical and probability of data distribution. The importance of statistical functions in the study is to establish relationships among variables and interpret the data in numerical figures.
Analyzing the obtained data will involve a descriptive presentation of the narratives perceived from the differences between the categorized themes and emerging concepts, which was derived from observations and participant response. For example, if the majority of the police officers show less concern about the safety of the public by undermining scheduled roving routines; the emerging central idea is the lack of motivation among the law enforcers in following routines. The patterns and themes emerging from the categorization of the qualitative data particularly the results of the field observation are imperative to the overall success of the study. Additionally, the statistical findings will be interpreted using descriptive statistics where the numerical variance will be compared and described for any differential patterns. Establishing the relationship between variables are the basis of the determining whether the planned problem oriented policing strategy will work effectively according to its objectives.
Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2007). Sample Survey of Law Enforcement Agencies CJ-44. Retrieved from www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=dcdetail&iid=248
Http://tx-lakeway2.civicplus.com. (2003). Police Observation Information Forms. Retrieved from http://tx-lakeway2.civicplus.com/documentcenter/home/view/1904
Mastrofski, S. D., Parks, R. B., Reis J.r., A. J., Worden, R. E., DeJong, C., Snipe, J. B., & Terrill, W. (1998). Systematic Observation of Public Police: Applying Field Research Methods to Policy Issues (172859). Retrieved from National Institute of Justice website: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/172859.pdf
Pre.ethics.gc.ca. (2015, January 8). Qualitative Research:The Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics (PRE). Retrieved from http://www.pre.ethics.gc.ca/eng/policy-politique/initiatives/tcps2-eptc2/chapter10-chapitre10/
US Census Bureau. (2013). Detroit (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau. Retrieved from http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/26/2622000.html