Reply Discussion Assignment Instructions
DUE: by 10am Friday May13, 2022. NO LATE WORK!
Then, you will post replies of 250–300 words (supported with at least two cites) each to 3 or more classmates’ threads. Each reply must incorporate at least two (2) scholarly citation(s) in APA format. The reply posts can integrate ideas and citations from the Learn material throughout the course.
Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Integrate Biblical principles in your personal thread and in all replies to peers.
10:11amMay 11 at 10:11am
Worrall (2000) notes that quantitative research gives us more plausible means for evaluating criminal justice theory. In other words, quantitative research gives us hard data that proves or disproves criminological theories and criminal justice practices. The criminal justice system routinely uses quantitative data to illustrate crime trends and/or effectiveness of enforcement actions. However, there is a critical weakness to this approach. Numbers do not tell the story. For instance, a local law enforcement agency chief announces that violent crime is down by 20%. Statistically, he is telling the truth. However, the fact is that violent crime levels have not changed, but the way the police department reports them has. Shooting into occupied dwelling cases are now considered injury to property. Statistics very rarely show the complex reality of situations. They are a useful tool for law enforcement executives and politicians to show whatever result they want to the citizens.
Likewise, qualitative data can be exaggerated or misreported. However, when you are collecting qualitative data, you are not collecting impersonal numbers, but individual stories and experiences that more often show the reality of the situation. As Holt (2010) notes, qualitative research has become easier and more effective with new technologies. Using the internet and social media, researchers can have a wider reach, attract more participants, and find a larger cross section of people to survey. Copes (2010) points out that qualitative research allows participants to speak for themselves. When discussing crime and justice, I believe this is particularly important.
The strengths of quantitative data are that it can be used to quickly show the extent of an issue and that it can condense an issue to easily digestible segments of data for people to examine. The primary weakness of quantitative research is that it cannot accurately and fully explain or document complex issues, such as crime and effectiveness of crime control policies. Academicians wishing to inform the public or leaders on issues using quantitative data, can do so simply. Using publicly available crime data, for instance, they quickly analyze trends in the data to show increases/decreases. So, if a researcher wanted to show the efficacy of red-light cameras, for instance, they could show stakeholders data on wrecks at intersections due to running red lights a year before the cameras and a year after. They can thus show the efficacy of the cameras, in theory, and also show how quantitative data can be used to affect public policy.
Proverbs 19:2 (English Standard Bible, 2001) tells us “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.” Read literally, this makes me think that wanting something without knowing about it and why you need it, is a mistake. Further, rushing into things carelessly is folly. So, as Christians, we are instructed to research before pushing forward with new things. If we apply this lesson in our professional lives, it will help us to make wiser decisions based on research.
MondayMay 9 at 10:20pm
Quantitative methods include surveys that may be conducted in person, online, or from a mobile source, interviews that include face-to-face or conducted from the telephone, systematic observations, or through longitudinal studies (Zyphur, 2017). When pertaining to Criminal Justice, quantitative methods of research pertain to statistical evaluation of data that has been collected (Backes, 2020). Through the quantitative data, this can help law enforces determine the probability of crime patterns, how number of different crimes happening in area, to keep record of inmates, crime rates, victim rates and repeated offender rates (Backes, 2020). Methods include observing criminal patterns, officers will give surveys to offenders, and when officers record reports the report is calculated for statistical purposes (Backes, 2020).
The strength of conducting quantitative research for Criminal Justice purposes is to calculate and obtain reliable statistics that can help officers prevent crimes through prediction, understanding which areas have higher crime rates, and gathering information so officers understand crime hotspots and which crime is happening the most in what area (Backes, 2020). Since quantitative research focuses on numerical data, this can make it easier for officers to interpret (Backes, 2020). This means that conclusions are made strictly from the data/numbers that have been collected from the field. If there is a reported that fifty crimes of theft took place in a neighborhood in the past month in a neighborhood, this can allow officers know that this neighborhood has a theft problem because there were fifty different reported cases.
For quantitative research to be ethical, the data collector must have consent to obtain data, the source must be clearly defined, and the data must be presented to visualize or summarize all elements to provide a description of how the data/numbers were collected for the conclusions that were made (Zyphur, 2017). A weakness could be that if officers are not aware of the ethical requirements when collecting quantitative research, they may become penalized, or the research conductor could find themselves in legal trouble (Zyphur, 2017). Another weakness to quantitative research in Criminal Justice is that each case is different and quantitative data only focuses on statistical information, which neglects the deeper causes of the cases and crimes (Backes, 2020). This means that through quantitative data, law enforcement may know that a certain crime is taking place within a neighborhood, but this does not explain the who, why, and how.
When pertaining to how academicians can use data analysis to inform public decisions, the solution is through learning about the majority answer (Powell, 2020). Quantitative research can be done through surveys, and this allows public figures to learn about the true answers and responses from the public (Powell, 2020). Surveys can be conducted to each resident within an area and the public figure would be able to make decisions from those who are living in the area (Powell, 2020). If a decision was going to be made about a neighborhood, the quantitative research that is collected will allow the public figures to learn about what the majority wanting within their area (Powell, 2020). When educating public leaders on the application of quantitative methods, it is wise to introduce the purpose of the research, express each part of the research study, and explain each step of the research process (Craig, 2018). To educate public leaders, it is important to present what research method is being used (Groeneveld, 2014). It is also wise to understand if administration already uses quantitative methods and if the are distributed equally (Groeneveld, 2014). It is important to acknowledge questions of how quantitative research methods are already used, the dominance of the methods from the quantitative public administration research, and which part of administration frequented uses quantitative research.
In Proverbs 14:15, it teaches that it is one thing to believe everything that one is presented with; however, those who are wise will seek out the truth (New King James Bible, 1895, Proverbs 14:15). This means that it is important to seek out information and it is through research that the trust can be found. In Proverbs 12:17, it teaches that the truth is what gives accurate evidence, but the be aware of false witnesses (New King James Bible, 1895, Proverbs 12:17). This means that those seeking information and conducting research should be aware of those who are not giving accurate answers.
YesterdayMay 10 at 4:37pm
In the criminal justice field, both quantitative and qualitative research is important. As in any endeavor, it is essential to use the right tool for the right job. Quantitative measures are useful in telling us what is happening, but not necessarily why. Each type of research has strengths and weaknesses, so it is often a matter of utilizing the right tool for the right job. This selection is often context-dependent, as it may depend on the maturity of the current research. At one point, qualitative studies may be more appropriate, but that could possibly change as the research into the subject evolves.
Strengths of Quantitative Research
Groeneveld et al. (2015)found that qualitative studies generally outnumber quantitative studies in public administration. However, the authors suggest that quantitative research is on the rise. They note that quantitative studies research is well-suited to attitudes and behavior. Criminal justice is basically a study of behavior. For example, it examines why some commit crimes while others do not and which factors increase or decrease deviant behavior. Meier et al. (2015) opine that quantitative studies have better precision and can demonstrate variability in a variable. Creswell and Creswell (2018) note that quantitative studies are best utilized when the variables can be measured in numerical form. In addition, they suggest that quantitative studies are generally employed in mature subject areas, where existing theories are going to be tested. The authors state that these types of studies generally have an extensive literature review. A good example of quantitative research in criminal justice is the work of Bandes et al. (2019) in identifying community-wide consequences of stop and frisk programs.
Weaknesses of Quantitative Research
Maxfield and Babbie (2018) note that quantitative studies are less effective at defining the meaning behind non-numerical data, such as words or phrases. While it is possible to quantify many non-numerical variables, the authors note that the “quantitative measures will be more superficial than qualitative descriptions” (p. 39). Another weakness of quantitative research is that the results are only as good as the data set. For example, if one wanted to study federal environmental crimes, it might be tempting to use data from the Environmental Protection Agency. However, Greife and Maume (2020) note that this would exclude data on environmental crimes that were initiated by other federal agencies.
The subject of mental health stigma in law enforcement provides a good example of the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative methods. Prior theories were based on the assumption that mental health stigma served as a barrier to help-seeking in law enforcement populations, so it was hypothesized that lowering the stigma would increase help-seeking behavior. However, Drew and Martin (2021) found that the evidence did not support the latter. Creswell and Creswell (2018) note that when quantitative studies are as effective as qualitative when, “the available theory may be inaccurate, inappropriate, incorrect or biased” (p. 104). Similarly, Hofer and Savell (2021) note that quantitative studies are less effective at discovering factors and influences in complex and dynamic environments (see also Tuffour, 2017). Therefore, the initial studies into this phenomenon will most likely be qualitative.
However, qualitative studies into mental health stigma in law enforcement populations will not be definitive. Qualitative studies have their own weaknesses. For example, they generally have sample sizes that are significantly smaller than quantitative studies (Levitt et al., 2018; Rajasinghe, 2020). This creates potential problems with generalizability (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). Therefore, once a new theory is formed, quantitative studies may be useful in improving the generalizability and external validity of the research by testing the new theory and hypothesis. This does not mean that quantitative studies always need to follow qualitative research; they can be used concurrently. For example, Backes et al. (2020) utilized both methods for a systemic review of intimate partner stalking.
The English Standard Bible (2016) teaches: “test everything; hold fast to what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21), and “all things should be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). Together, these quotes support the use of empirical study, particularly using the correct method at the right time. The Bible also notes that “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way” (Proverbs 19:2). For criminal justice practitioners, this means that policy should be based on research and best practices.
Quantitative and qualitative studies both have strengths and weaknesses. Quantitative studies are useful in determining the effects of numerical data and are generally have more precision than qualitative studies. Even where qualitative studies have an advantage, quantitative studies can be used to mitigate the former’s weaknesses and improve the validity of a study.
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