Free Essay with the List of Methods Used in Qualitative Criminal Research

Published: 2019-05-22
Free Essay with the List of Methods Used in Qualitative Criminal Research
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Research Criminal law
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1234 words
11 min read

Every government and institutions dealing with humanitarian affairs have their specified laws that ensures efficient, orderly and smooth learning of the basic and tertiary life with its composition. All these are written with every individual who has an attachment is compelled to believe and follow to the letter without which is well termed as breaking or going contrary to the laws therein resulting to allegations and sentiments that demand knowledgeable answers. The act of taking law into ones hands and acting heinously without any considerations to the laid down and well versed rules and regulations either with or without knowledge to of the law is regarded as crime or rather violation of the government law. Various acts such as terror, robbery with or without violence, killing and harassment just to mention are few of the acts that contradict the well stipulated laws governing the good code of conduct of a society and country at large. The reporting, listening and execution of the wrong act must involve gathering the clear knowledge or data concerning the offence and the environment with which criminal justice should be offered a big stake to take place.

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Qualitative Research methods offers a concrete evidence and bears all the reasons as to why it should be employed in order to warrant its use in research criminal and security management. It focuses on observing behaviors of both small and large groups of people either socially, politically and even intra-behavior; with these social behaviors focusing entirely on human life encounters and experiences in social context as whole with its composition. Observations on research subjects in a natural and social ambience is very critical to qualitative research. Qualitative research methods provides a clear understanding and overview to a criminal researcher with full reasons and evidence as to why crime happen to take place in a certain particular place and not a different place. It does happen so sometimes that the behavioral characteristics try to deviate from the normal providing a tangible clue to undertake a research why is the distinct and manifold deviation from the average and normal behavior.

Additionally, Interview act as one of the best criminal research method where it involves the participation of the subjects either verbally, through questionnaires and formal interviews. The researcher asks questions which are intended and designed to invite the subjects to talk about their bottom-most and inner feelings and perceptions. Intensively the interview of criminal justice research does not really require the involvement of observations of small and large group dynamics. What the researcher seeks is the inner feeling, experiences and perceptions as it involves asking of open ended questions which can be done in the field b asking in depth questions about the feelings and experiences of individuals involved in the ongoing or current criminal activity (Richard, 2009).

Direct observation which involves use of visual and direct observations by gathering data qualitatively without being a direct participant in a group. The researcher ensures he/she remains uninvolved completely from the subject or group activities. Here observations by the researcher are be done by observing by watching video tapes or by actively observing the group activity. This method of gathering and analyzing qualitative data in criminal justice project offers a more reliable and most objective data that is efficient and direct to the situation analyzed.

Use of Focus group which is created or formed by the researcher who leads the conversations in that group by asking questions directly to that participants or group members .Interestingly, the members of the focus group must be sharing common interests and characteristics such as all the members may be on investigation or probation for commissioning of a particular criminal activity or reside in the same geographical area. Their main purpose is to elaborate or expound on the experiences of individuals who have the same life occurrences and experiences which have ever happened in their day to day life. This method renders itself efficient since it offers the very basic and first-hand information that have been discussed in details with many suggestions brought into table and analyzed fully.

Participant observation research method in criminal justice and security management. It involves the researcher going undercover in order to observe members activities of a group. The four levels of participant observation .Firstly the researcher is engaged in complete participation by involving and participating in group criminal activity and attempt to influence group conduct. (Richard,2009).The researcher who takes up the role of the direct or participant observer may go thread along with that particular criminal activity but tries in all attempts not to change or influence behavior. When the researcher assumes the role of observer in participation he is actually a direct participant in conducting illegal activity and then restricts his role and involvement to observing only. It should be noted that the in complete observation the researcher becomes part and a member of the group but does not get part or engage in any illegal or criminal activity. This may sound similar to direct observation but the distinction lies in the involvement in the observation and the part the researcher plays in the group (Hagan 2003).In direct observation the researcher gets uninvolved in group activities while in participant observation the researcher participates in group activities but not influencing behavior as well.

Consequently, case study method has deemed to be another critical research activity in criminal justice where the researcher involves an intensive study and analysis of a particular individual while using the same types of data collection and gathering methods used in various studies and in groups. The researcher assumes the role of auditing the individual in line with his relatives too to provide the relevant information about that particular individual through the use of interviews and observations with intent to engrave and build a picture of the individual in line with his criminal undertakings. The information provided is analyzed by the researcher who may try to arrive at some conclusions about how, where, when and why an individual engaged in illegal code of conduct as studied. Generally Case study narrows the research to an individual who could be a suspect in that case and performing exhaustive interviews which gives out the possible data as the outcome of the interview to act as a basis of study which is analyzed fully for deriving conclusions.

All the methods used in qualitative criminal research are primarily based on the provision of tangible and relevant information which is channeled through different study and analyzing methods employed to act as prove and evidence to deduce why or when the illegal criminal activity occurred. The information gathered is all about individual or group inner-feelings and perceptions over a particular incidence in a place which can be well summarized as qualitative data, without any form of figures. This goes a long way to get the first hand information of what the various individuals feel within that context instead of providing numerical figures and data that doesnt really have a true and fair reflection of what the real case is all about.


More, H. (1977). Criminal justice management. St. Paul: West Pub. Co.

Harkin, D. (2015). Police legitimacy, ideology and qualitative methods: A critique of procedural justice theory. Criminology And Criminal Justice. doi:10.1177/1748895815580397

Hagan, F. (2003). Research methods in criminal justice and criminology. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Neuman, W., & Wiegand, B. (2000). Criminal justice research methods. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

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