CJ430 Research in Criminal Justice

for FA 2008

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


CJ 430 Research in Criminal Justice


FA 2008 HO


Dr. Kenneth Christopher, D.P.A.


Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice


Doctor of Public Administration (Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 1999)
Master of Public Administration (Florida International University, Miami, FL, 1983)
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, 1976)

Office Location

MA 416-F (Library)

Office Hours

Monday (10am-12n), Tuesday (2:30p-5:30p), Wednesday (10am-11am)

Daytime Phone

Office: 816-584-6597

Other Phone

Cell: 816-809-6494




Web Page


Semester Dates

August 18 - December 12, 2008

Class Days

Tuesday and Thursday

Class Time

1pm - 2:15pm


Senior standing and permission of instructor

Credit Hours




Basics of Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology, 2nd Edition

Michael G. Maxfield - Rutgers University, Newark

Earl R. Babbie - Chapman University

ISBN-10: 0495503851  ISBN-13: 9780495503859

380 Pages   Paperbound

© 2009     Available in August 2008  


A brief text based on Maxfield/Babbie's best-selling, RESEARCH METHODS FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND CRIMINOLOGY, Fifth Edition, this "basics edition" combines accessibility and a conversational writing style with Michael G. Maxfield's expertise in criminology and criminal justice. In fewer than 400 pages, the text introduces students to the basics of criminal justice research utilizing real data and featuring coverage of such key issues as ethics, causation, validity, field research, and research design.

Table of Contents

1. Criminal Justice and Scientific Inquiry.
2. Ethics and Criminal Justice Research.
3. General Issues in Research Design.
4. Concepts, Operationalization, and Measurement.
5. Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs.
6. Sampling.
7. Survey Research and Other Ways of Asking Questions.
8. Field Research.
9. Agency Records, Content Analysis, and Secondary Data.
10. Evaluation Research and Problem Analysis.
11. Interpreting Data.


Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:


The instructor will be using eCompanion during the term for instructor-student communications, distributing handouts and supplemental readings, document sharing, recording grades, posting PowerPoint slides, webliography, etc. Students can access the course website using their student ID and OPEN password via:


From time to time, the instructor will refer students to supplemental required readings, audiovisuals, case studies, articles, computer resources, etc. which will be posted on eCompanion and/or provided as supplemental handouts in class. It is the student's responsibility to have reliable access to eCompanion and maintain currency on all assigned material.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
This capstone course is an examination of the research methods with application most commonly utilized in criminological and criminal justice research. Development and implementation of an original data-gathering instrument is required. A paper summarizing and evaluating the data-gathering instruments and comparing the data to published articles is required. PREREQUISITES: Senior standing and permission of instructor. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

The instructor’s overarching approach to education is to emphasize the broadening of intellect as a strategy for developing problem solving and critical thinking skills.  It is essential to integrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities developed in the classroom into the active lives of students, both as individuals and as members of social groups.  It is not the facts we learn, but how we use them that provides us with the tools needed to better the human condition.

The instructor will use online lectures, discussions, group activities, supplementary readings, audio-visual aids, examinations, and other methods to facilitate learning.  Student performance expectations: 

1.  The instructor assumes the student has read and understands the syllabus and expects students to ask questions if any aspect of the course requirements is unclear.

 2.   Students are expected to demonstrate that they are meeting the course objectives by participating in the online class; actively participating in class discussions, activities, and exercises; timely submitting all written assignments; delivering required documents; and sitting for any scheduled examinations.

3.  Students are assigned readings from the required text(s) and/or supplemental text materials in advance of each class meeting and are expected to be prepared for class. 

4.  Students are expected to ask questions if they do not understand something.

5.  The instructor encourages a mutual learning environment, where students can freely raise questions in the search for understanding.  Students are expected to listen to each other, ask questions, raise concerns, and provide the respect that each individual deserves. Students are also encouraged to bring any items to class which they feel will add substantially to the learning environment.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Distinguish the terminology and concepts associated with research and are able to discuss these.
  2. Design a research project using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science Research).
  3. Organize a research project, working with aspects of the research process, and be able to analyze and discuss the research of others.
  4. Construct a survey, with classmates, administering the survey, compile the data, input the collected information into SPSS, and analyze the collected data.
  5. Design a tentative proposal for writing the senior thesis.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Articulate issues bearing on the expanding role of the criminal justice organization in society.
  2. Develop and/or apply criminal justice strategies for problem-solving in real-life situations.
Core Assessment:

·        Class participation, exams, written exercises

·        Project

·        Research proposal

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:


Students have TWO Assessment Options (A or B): Option B (See Grading Plan below) is available for students who elect to participate in the Park University 2008 Brazil Service Learning Program (This will be explained during the first week of class).

Research Proposal: The Research Proposal involves three components: 1) Developing a research question and hypothesis; 2) Completing a literature review; and 3) Developing a methodology/plan for answering your research question. You must select a topic for your proposal that is related to Criminal Justice. The topic will require approval from the course instructor. More information on this assignment will be provided during the first week of class.
Examinations (2): There will be TWO (2) examinations: a midterm and a final. Examinations may be in class or take-home, closed or open books/notes, and may be either or a combination of objective and subjective type questions.

Periodic Assignments/Quizzes (10)
There will be TEN (10) periodic assignments or quizzes. There is no set schedule for these assessments but students can expect one every week or so throughout the term. If a quiz is scheduled, the instructor will provide at least a two-class meeting notice in class (e.g., if a quiz is scheduled for a Thursday, you will be notified in class the previous Thursday). Assignments other than quizzes may be oral or written, individual or group activities, in-class or homework assignments, presentations, and/or discussion activities.  Students who are not present in class to engage in these assessments/quizzes remain responsible for any assignments, supplemental material, and information given in class.
Brazil Service Learning Program (Optional): Students registered for CJ 430 for the Fall 2008 term have an opportunity to travel and participate in Park University’s Brazil Service-Learning Program during the Fall break (October 9-21, 2008). NOTE: THIS IS AN OPTIONAL ACTIVITY FOR WHICH STUDENTS MUST APPLY SEPARATELY FROM THIS COURSE. Students electing to participate will travel to Brazil with this instructor, and other Park University faculty and students, to provide a training program in security and safety to a targeted community near Recife, Brazil. Participation will expose students to concepts, issues, and modeled application strategies for individual and community safety, crime and violence prevention, risk, threat assessment and criminal justice management. By working within an organized community service structure, students will help community members to reflect upon and improve their safety and security skills.  At the same time, students will have a learning experience that enables them to identify and assess community security needs and gain understanding of the course content, a broader application of the criminal justice discipline, and an appreciation for international engagement and civic responsibility. Additional details and information will be provided during the first week of class.


A = 90- 100% (900 to 1,000 points)
B = 80-89%   (800 to 899 points)
C = 70-79%   (700 to 799 points)
D = 60-69%   (600 to 699 points)
F = < 60%    (599 or fewer points)

GRADES:                                                 Option A                     Option B

Research Proposal                                  25% (250 points)         25% (250 points)
Final Exam                                              30% (300 points)         20% (200 points)
Mid-Term Exam                                     20%  (200 points)         15% (150 points)
Periodic Assignments/Quizzes (10)          25%  (250 points)         15% (150 points)
Brazil Service Learning Program                      N/A                      25%  (250 points)
TOTAL                                              100% (1,000 points)    100% (1,000 points)

Late Submission of Course Materials:


Except for the Final exam, no assignment will be accepted, reviewed, or graded AFTER December 5, 2008.

There are NO makeups or alternative assignments for scheduled quizzes.

MAKEUP POLICY - MIDTERM and FINAL EXAMINATIONS ONLY:  Students who fail to complete the scheduled midterm or  final examinations will receive a grade of 0 (F) for the assessment item. Students involved in a University-sanctioned event (e.g., sports competition) or experiencing some type of EMERGENCY (e.g., personal illness, car accident, family issue, etc.), which will impact their ability to complete the midterm or final examination, must personally contact the instructor BEFORE the schedule examination, or as soon as possible afterwards if an emergency.  A makeup for the examination MAY be offered on a case-by-case basis, subject to written documentation from the student substantiating the University activity (e.g., team schedule, correspondence from coach) or EMERGENCY (e.g., medical note, police report, etc.) and notice from the student. THE INSTRUCTOR HAS NO OBLIGATION TO OFFER A MAKEUP EXAM. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

PLEASE silence all beepers, cell phones, wireless communication devices, electronics, etc. while in class. 

If a cell phone must be used during class (including text messaging), please do so outside the classroom.

The use of laptop personal computers to take notes or conduct course-related research is permitted during class, except during exams and quizzes, as long as it is not a distraction to the instructor or to other students.  Please note that the use of e-mail, interactive chat rooms, text messaging, instant messaging, “web-surfing,” listening to music, watching videos, and other non-course-related computer activities is considered a distraction and is not permitted during class sessions.

While class is in session, students may NOT use headphones or ear buds connected to any electronic device (e.g., cell phones, I-Pods, computers, data devices, etc.).

PLEASE show each other the same respect you would want by actively listening to others and maintaining civility in the discourse.

REMEMBER that we are all different and that we grow and develop positively by practicing acceptance, tolerance, and understanding of each other's opinions, customs, and ideas.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:


Week 1 – August 19 and 21, 2008

  • Introductions
  • Course Syllabus
  • Introduction to Research in Criminal Justice
  • Discussion of Research Proposal and CJ450 (Senior Seminar) Thesis Requirements
  • Readings: ---Course Syllabus ---Instructor-provided resources

Week 2 – August 26 and 28, 2008

  • Thursday, August 28, Seminar on Criminal Justice Research - Library Databases (LOCATION TBA)
  • Criminal Justice and Scientific Inquiry
  • Readings: ---Maxfield & Babbie (MB), Chapter 1

Week 3 – September 2 and 4, 2008

  • Ethics and Criminal Justice Research
  • Periodic assignment/quiz
  • Readings: ---MB, Chapter 2

Week 4 – September 9 and 11, 2008

  • NO CLASS – Thursday, September 11 – Assignment TBA
  • General Issues in Research Design
  • Periodic assignment/quiz
  • Readings: ---MB, Chapter 3

Week 5 – September 16 and 18, 2008

  • Concepts, Operationalization, and Measurement
  • Periodic assignment/quiz
  • Readings: ---MB, Chapter 4

Week 6 – September 23 and 25, 2008

  • Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs
  • Periodic assignment/quiz
  • Readings: ---MB, Chapter 5

Week 7 – September 30 and October 2, 2008

  • Sampling
  • Periodic assignment/quiz
  • Readings: ---MB, Chapter 6

Week 8 – October 7 and 9, 2008

  • NO CLASS – Thursday, October 9 – Assignment TBA
  • Midterm Exam – Tuesday, October 7 – Weeks 1 - 7

***FALL BREAK – OCTOBER 11-19, 2008 – NO CLASSES***



Week 9 – October 21 and 23, 2008

  • NO CLASS – Tuesday, October 21 – Assignment TBA
  • Survey Research and Other Ways of Asking Questions
  • Readings: ---MB, Chapter 7

Week 10 – October 28 and 30, 2008

  • Field Research
  • Periodic assignment/quiz
  • Readings: ---MB, Chapter 8

Week 11 – November 4 and 6, 2008

  • Agency Records, Content Analysis, and Secondary Data
  • Periodic assignment/quiz
  • Readings: ---MB, Chapter 9

Week 12 – November 13, 2008

  • Evaluation Research and Problem Analysis
  • Periodic assignment/quiz
  • Readings: ---MB, Chapter 10

Week 13 – November 18 and 20, 2008

  • Interpreting Data
  • Periodic assignment/quiz
  • Readings: ---MB, Chapter 11

Week 14 – November 25, 2008

  • Periodic assignment/quiz

Week 15 – December 2 and 4, 2008

  • Research Proposal Presentations/Final Proposals DUE TUESDAY, Dec 2
  • Course Wrap-up

Week 16 – December 9, 2008

  • Final Exam – Tuesday, December 9 (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm), Weeks 9-15



Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
All students are expected to be familiar with the University's policies on Academic Honesty and Plagiarism. Evidence of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, fabrication, or cheating, will be fully investigated and may result in course failure.

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
All work submitted must be the student's own.  Any assistance received by a student in preparing papers or reports must be fully acknowledged and disclosed in the work submitted.  Students must cite and reference any sources from which data, ideas or words are used, either quoted directly or paraphrased.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90
The instructor is required to take attendance. If you are not in class, your absence will be recorded as UNEXCUSED (U). If you request an EXCUSED (E) absence, please contact the instructor via telephone or e-mail with the reason for the request. There are no grade points for class attendance. While there are no grade penalties for missing class, continued absences will likely affect the student's ability to succesfully complete scheduled and unscheduled course assessments. Students who anticipate being absent regularly or for an extended period (e.g., illness, family emergency, business travel, etc.) are encouraged to contact the instructor to discuss alternatives.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .
Please notify the instructor during the first week of class, or as soon as practicable, about any issue affecting your ability to fully participate in class activities.


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
The artifact assembles at least 10 sources from class readings, observations, and other resources The artifact assembles at least 8-10 sources from class readings, observations, and other resources The artifact assembles 8 or fewer sources from only one resource The artifact does not utilize proper resources 
The artifact will display the use of at least 6 outside sources and the ability to properly compare and contrast the sources cited. The artifact will display the use of at least 5 outside sources and the ability to properly compare and contrast the sources cited. The artifact will display the use of fewer than 5 outside sources and show little ability to compare and contrast the sources cited. The artifact does not display an ability to compare and contrast sources cited. 
The artifact demonstrates the student's ability to utilize 2 or more evaluation perspectives in examining the research subject chosen The artifact demonstrates the student's ability to utilize 1 evaluation perspective in examining the research subject chosen The artifact contains a lack of understanding of evaluation perspectives Evaluation is not present in the artifact 
The artifact contains no errors in terminology The artifact contains 1-2 errors in terminology The artifact contains 3-4 errors in terminology The artifact contains 5 or more errors in terminology 
The artifact discusses more than 3 key elements and displays an exceptional understanding of the elements chosen The artifact discusses 2 key elements and displays an understanding of the elements chosen The artifact discusses fewer than 2 key elements and displays little understanding of the elements chosen The artifact does not discuss key elements 
The artifact shows multiple instances and exceptional understanding of terminology and concepts throughout the paper The artifact shows sufficient and satisfactory use of terminology and concepts throughout the paper The artifact shows little and unsatisfactory use of terminology and concepts throughout the paper The artifact fails to demonstrate an understanding of terminology and concepts 
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
The artifact is in APA or MLA format, is at least 8-10 pages in length, and displays proper grammar and no spelling errors The artifact is in APA or MLA format, is at least 5-7 pages in length, displays proper grammar and no more than 2 spelling errors The artifact is not in a proper format, contains multiple grammar errors, and 2 or more spelling errors The artifact is not in a proper format, contains multiple grammar errors, and multiple spelling errors 
The artifact contains the following:

-Title page

-Review of the Literature


-Plan for conducting the study

-Plan for evaluating the data

-Annotated bibliography containing 10 or more sources

The artifact contains the following:

-Title page

-Review of the Literature


-Plan for conducting the study

-Plan for evaluating the data

-Annotated bibliography of 8-10 sources

The artifact does not contain one or more of the following:

-Title page

-Review of the Literature


-Annotated bibliography of sources

The artifact is missing most of the required elements 
MLL or GE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Does not apply to course Does not apply to course Does not apply to course Does not apply to course 


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Last Updated:8/15/2008 3:24:10 PM