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Chapter 1

CCJS 300 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Critical Inquiry, Crime Analysis, The Paradigm Shift


Department
Criminology and Criminal Justice
Course Code
CCJS 300
Professor
Alan Lehman
Chapter
1

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-Sometimes common sense is nonsense
-If people agree with findings, they consider them obvious, if they disagree, they view them as
unscientific because common sense told them so
-Common sense explanation is a rival to science
WHY STUDY RESEARCH METHODS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE?
-Research methods provide the tools necessary to approach issues in criminal justice from a more
rigorous standpoint and enable a venture beyond options based solely on nonscientific
observations and experiences
THE EMEMRGENCE OF SCIENCE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
-Science: combines rational and theoretical explanation with the scientific method
-Scientific method emphasizes observation, measurement, replication, and verification
-Replication: repetition of experiments or studies utilizing the same methodology
-Verification: confirmation of the accuracy of findings; attachment of greater certitude in
conclusions through additional observations
THE PROBABILISTIC NATURE OF SCIENCE
-Researchers believe that effects will most often occur when certain causes are present, but not in
every single case
-Researchers attempt to estimate the probability of their predictions being accurate
PROPER CONDUCT OF CRITICAL INQUIRY
-Research requires interdisciplinary efforts as well as the tackling of field-oriented practical
problems
-Researchers should cease giving speeches to practitioners about the value of research and attack
their practical concerns with a realistic appraisal of error proneness of any research endeavor
-It is time to be done with “methodological narcissism” methods for methods’ sake
-Methodological narcissism: fanatical adherence to a preferred method at the expense of
substance; view that there is one and only one way of doing research, that is, by employing the
one, best method 9substance is overlooked in the name of method)
-Those concerned with good research should be objective and vigilant as well as sympathetic
-Objectivity: value neutrality or a dispassionate approach to the subject matter that holds
constant personal bias
-Vigilant: a concern for accuracy and efforts to eliminate error
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-Empathy is important
-Errors are okay as long as there are attempts to acknowledge them
APPROACHES TO THEORY AND METHOD IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE
-Theory: plausible explanation of reality (why and how do things occur)
-Represents a reasonable and informed guess as to why things are as they appear and explain
their underlying nature and meaning
-Paradigm: a model or schema that provides a perspective from which to review reality
-Organize reality by giving structure, framework, and perspective from which to
investigate reality
-Ex: Sutherland’s concept of white-collar crime, crime no longer view as just in the lower
class
-Methodology: collection of accurate facts or data; attempt to address the issue of “what is”
EXHIBIT 1.1 THE PARADIGM SHIFT IN POLICING
-Kansas City Preventative Patrol experiment, neither increases nor decreases in police patrol
seemed to affect the crime rate, public fear of crime, or public satisfaction with police
-Police spent most of their time rushing to scenes of calls, had little time to investigate trivial
matters
-Broken windows, switch to handling more of the little things to decrease crime, more
community policing and zero tolerance policy
PURE VS. APPLIED RESEARCH
-Pure (basic) research: acquisition of knowledge for science’s sake; acquisition of knowledge
that contributes to the scientific development of discipline
-Applied research: research concerned with solving or addressing immediate policy problems
-Conflict between the applied practitioner and the nonapplied academic
-Practitioners are more interested in applied research, academics on pure research
-Crime analysis: systematic, analytic processes aimed at providing practical information related
to crime patterns
-Funding for criminal justice research has been meager
-Evaluation research examines public programs and policies
EXHIBIT 1.2 CRIME ANALYSIS: APPLIED CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESEARCH
-Four types of law enforcement analysis:
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