Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology
Frank E. Hagan
The role of the researcher may at times conflict with oneí role as a criminal justice practitioner. A researcher must be objective when reporting on subject matter. Whereas the practitionerís role is to prevent and process criminals, the researcher, who is a neutral observer, may have conflict.
i. Adhere to the highest possible standards in research
ii. Aknowledge the the limitations of their findings
iii. Do not misrepresent their findings. Publish their complete results, along with the method used.
iv. Aknowledge all the financial support and sponsorship of the research
v. Do not made any commitments to individuals unless there is full intention to honor them
vi. Researchers should make available, after their own analysis, available the raw data at a reasonable price, so that other social scientists may make analysis
vii. Make adequate information and citations concerning scales and other measures used in the research
viii. Researchers should not accept grants or research assignments that appear to violate this code. If they find anything in their research that violates this code than they should stop
ix. When financial support is accepted, the researcher should make every possible effort to complete the project
x. When more than one person is working on a project, before research begins, an agreement must be made as to division of work and ownership of the research.
For a complete record of these, refer to page 53-56
The major ones that should be mentioned and are the most important are: Avoid research that may be harmful to subjects, Honor Commitments to Respondants, Exercise Objectivity and Professional Integrity, Protect Confidentiality
Research Fraud (40): When researchers purposely lie or misrepresent their findings.
Plagiarism (41): A writer presents the ideas or work of someone else as his or her own.
Role of Researcher (42): Requires one to be objective when reporting on a subject matter.
Professional Ethics (44): Following a certain code of ethics within a profession.
Ethical Principles for Criminal Justice Research (44-45): Calls attention to contemporary issues that neither policymakers nor researchers may have considered in a systematic manner. These principles and applications have to be tailored for each individual research project.
HEW Guidelines for Protection of Human Subjects (45): This was the most important source for guidelines in research. It required that grant recipients follow its stipulations.
Institutional Review Boards (45): Research screening committees set up in colleges and universities to oversee the ethical propriety of research
Informed Consent (46): Making subjects aware of the study going to be performed on them and requiring that they sign a form indicating they have been notified.
The Belmont Report (47-48): See answer to number 3
NIJís Regulations on Confidentiality (51): protects individuals by forbidding the use of any research or statistical information that might identify them.
Shield Laws (52): This is a government immunity from prosecution, a state guaranteed right to confidentiality for researchers if they are subpoedaed.
Risk/Benefit Ratio in Research (57): Potential benefits must outweigh the possible hazards to respondents
Reciprocity (58): Mutual trust between the researcher and the subject. The researcher must keep all promises made during or after the study. The researcher would not have had any information without the help of the subject, so embarrassing the subject or not keeping promises is not appropriate
Confidentiality (60): Researchers are required to keep this. Researchers do not expose individuals and their findings.
Pseudonyms (63): Fake names. Used to keep confidentiality