CJ430 Research in Criminal Justice

for S2E 2010

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CJ 430 Research in Criminal Justice


S2E 2010 PE


Shah, Rita


Adjunct Faculty of Criminal Justice


MA, Social Ecology, UC Irvine, 2007
BA, Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics and Government, American University, 2003

Office Location

Via Gmail Chat or Panera in Carlsbad

Office Hours

Saturdays 9-noon, or by appointment

Other Phone

(760) 725-6858



Class Days


Class Time

4:45 - 10:10 PM

Credit Hours



Hagan, F. E.  (2010).  Research methods in criminal justice and criminology (8th edition).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Additional readings may be assigned as appropriate (see course schedule below).


Additional Resources:
These resources may be useful to you when writing your papers:

American Psychological Association.  (2009).  Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Edition).  Washington, DC:  American Psychological Association.

Strunk, W., and White, E. B.  (2008).  The elements of style: 50th anniversary edition.  London: Longman Publishing.

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:
CJ430 Research in Criminal Justice: 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 instruments is required. A paper summarizing and evaluating the data-gathering instuments and comparing the data to published articles is required. Prerequisites: Senior standing and permission of instructor. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
My teaching philosophy is one of learning through a wide variety of activities, including lectures, readings, group activities, movies, writing, and more.  I work with my students to create a safe and supportive learning environment that allows for an open and respectful discussion of ideas.   I also hope to bring in activities to the classroom that will bring course content to life.

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 data from various sources.
  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, and analyze the collected data.
  5. Design a tentative proposal for writing the senior thesis.

Core Assessment:

For CJ 430, all students will complete a research proposal that examines the following seven basic topical issues relating to the study of research methods in criminal justice:

1.      What are the major differences between the scientific approach and the human inquiry approach to causal and probabilistic reasoning?

2.      What are the major ethical considerations and issues in research and what methods are used to address these?

3.      What are the various levels of measurement and the key standards for measuring validity and reliability?

4.      What are the major methods of collecting data and the importance of the type of research in dictating decisions of data collection?

5.      What are the major differences and usages of statistics and types of data in the various research reports and evaluations?

6.      What are the characteristics and differences between quantitative and qualitative data as they apply to field research?

7.      What are the different techniques and options available for collecting and recording field observations?

The research proposal will address and equitably treat each of the seven topical areas. The issues and researched material should be integrated to provide a consolidated examination of the fundamental process of research in the criminal justice field. The research proposal should contain the following technical components:

1.      A cover or title page.

2.      A body of text, 10 – 12 typed, double-spaced pages (2,500 to 3,000 words) in length.

3.      A reference page containing a minimum of 10 course-external resources.

4.      Written in APA Style. 

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Along with attending and participating in class and reading the required material, the following constitute course requirements:

1.     Draft paper sections (60% of your grade).  Throughout the quarter, drafts/sections of your paper will be due.  Each draft will cover specific sections of the final paper and will provide a means of staying on top of the final project.

2.     Final project (40% of your grade).  The final project is a research proposal that describes your research question, the relevant literature, and a possible method for answering the research question.

3.     Worth your while (extra credit opportunities worth up to 5 points). It is fairly common for students to ask intriguing questions during class discussion.  Sometimes these questions stump the professor and sometimes the professor feels it would be interesting for you to find the answer yourself.  In these instances, it would be worth your while to find the correct answer.  Each correct answer must be submitted at the beginning of the following class and include: 1) Your name and ID #; 2) The WYW question; 3) The answer; and 4) The source (Wikipedia does not count).  Each correct submission is worth 1 point.


Draft paper sections (60% of your final grade)
     Research Idea:  8 pts
     Introduction/Literature review: 16 pts
     Methodology/Data collection: 20 pts
     Data analysis/Strengths and weaknesses: 20 pts
     Total points: 64 pts

Final paper (40% of your final grade):  64 pts

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Draft sections submitted late will lose 2 points for each day it is late.  Submissions that are more than a week late will result in not be accepted and will earn 0 points.  A final paper submitted late will loose 11 points for each day it is late, but will not be accepted after Saturday night.  

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

This is a Park University class and, as with all Park classes, students are expected to abide by the student code of conduct and as well as the most basic rules of etiquette, including: getting to class on time and coming prepared to work; turning off all electronic devices other than a laptop computer; not talking during lectures; and remaining respectful of diverse views when engaging in classroom debate. All views are allowed and, indeed, welcomed but expressing them in a respectful way is required. Reasonable people can disagree, but the disagreement needs to be expressed in ways that are conducive to the free exchange of ideas and attendant to productive dialogue.  

Suggestions. We will be covering a lot of material in a short amount of time and it is often easy to lose track of the weeks.  Although it is not required, you are encouraged to do the following in an effort to enhance your experience in this course:

1.     Get acquainted with one another and form study groups. Engage in collaborative learning. Studies show that students who engage in collaborative learning tend to have a better educational experience.

2.     Contact and consult with the Professor as often as is necessary to do well in this course. Do not wait until problems are irreparable or concerns are outdated to seek assistance. If you need assistance, ask for it. If you ask for it, you’ll get it.  Please be aware, however, that it is important that you contact the professor in a timely manner and allow up to 24 hours of response time.  The best way to contact the professor is to either e-mail or meet with the professor in person.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

The outline below indicates what we will be doing and when we will be doing it. Due dates and topics are not chiseled in stone; all topics and dates are tentative and subject to change. If changes are made, they will be announced in class and/or over e-mail. 

March 16: Introduction to Research Methods

A.   Introduction to the instructor

B.    Developing an agreed upon set of rules that will apply to class discussions.  These rules be determined by the class as a whole and will be used to ensure a productive and safe environment for discussion. A decision on how to address late assignments will also be made during this discussion.

C.    Introduction to research methods

D.   Ethical considerations

E.    Discussion of the final project

F.    DUE NEXT WEEK (March 23): Research question and list of 5 possible references

 Required readings:

·      Ch. 1: Introduction to Criminal Justice Research Methods

·      Ch. 2: Ethics in Criminal Justice Research

·      Appendix A: p. 367-368

·      The Belmont Report (see dropbox)

March 23: Experiments and Sampling

A.   Experimental and quasi-experimental models

B.    Sampling

C.    Writing the introduction and literature review

D.   DUE NEXT WEEK: Draft of introduction and literature review

 Required readings:

·      Ch. 3: Research Design: The Experimental Model and its Variations

·      Ch. 4: The Uniform Crime Reports and Sampling

·      Lawrence, L. W., and Berk, R. A.  (1984).  The specific deterrent effects of arrest for domestic violence.  American Sociological Review 49(2), 261-272.

March 30: Surveys

A.   Questionnaires

B.    Interviews

C.    Telephone surveys

Required readings:

·      Ch. 5: Survey Research: Questionnaires

·      Ch. 6: Survey Research: Interviews and telephone surveys

·      Appendix: p. 368-369

·      Uggen, C., and Manza, J.  (2002).  Democratic contraction?  Political consequences of felon disenfranchisement in the United States.  American Sociological Review, 67(6), 777-803.

April 6: Participant observation and use of existing data

A.   Participant observation

B.    Case studies

C.    Unobtrusive measures and existing data

D.   Writing the methodology/data collection section

E.    DUE SATURDAY (April 10): Field notes (assignment explained in class)

F.    DUE NEXT WEEK (April 13): Draft of methodology and data collection section

Required readings:

·      Ch. 7: Participant observation and case studies

·      Ch. 8: Unobtrusive measures, secondary analysis, and the uses of official statistics

·      Appendix: p. 369

·      Goodman, P.  (2008).  “It’s just Black, White, or Hispanic”: An observational study of racializing moves in California’s segregated prison reception centers.  Law and Society Review, 42(4), 735-770. 

April 13: Validity, reliability and triangulated strategies

A.   Validity

B.    Reliability

C.    Triangulated strategies

Required readings:

·      Ch. 9: Validity, reliability, and triangulated strategies

April 20: Data analysis and coding

A.   Statistical analysis

B.    Coding

C.    Other types of analysis

D.   Presenting your data

E.    Writing the data analysis section

F.    DUE NEXT WEEK (April 27): Draft of data analysis and strengths/weaknesses section

Required readings:

·      Ch. 8: pp. 217-220

·      Ch. 12: Data management: Coding, tabulation and simple data presentation

·      Ch. 13: Data analysis: A user’s guide to statistics

·      Tips for Analyzing Qualitative Data (see dropbox)

April 27: Policy analysis and program evaluation

A.   Policy analysis

B.    Program evaluation

C.    Writing the conclusion, references, and appendixes 

Required readings:

·      Ch. 11: Policy analysis and evaluation research

May 4: Conclusion

A.   In-class presentations of research proposals

B.    Addressing last minute questions

C.    DUE FRIDAY (May 7): Final paper including all sections


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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92
All information and ideas that are not your own must be cited appropriately.  This includes information from print, Internet, and other sources.  Anyone found violating the student conduct code (available in the Park University catalogue beginning on p. 50) will fail the course and his or her offense will be documented.  A violation of the policy can impact a student's academic standing and financial aid.  Bottom line:  DON'T PLAGIARIZE.  If you have any questions about proper citation, please ask for assistance.

Additionally, students will be required to submit all of their paper assignments to turnitin.com the day the assignment is due.  A login and password will provided at least 2 days prior to the due date of the first assignment.

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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 .

Research Idea Rubric

Intro and Lit Review Rubric

Methods and Data Collection Rubric

Data Analysis and Strengths/Weaknesses Rubric

Final Paper Rubric

Research Idea Rubric

Intro and Lit Review Rubric

Methods and Data Collection Rubric

Data Analysis and Strengths/Weaknesses Rubric

Final Paper Rubric


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:2/12/2010 10:10:04 AM