Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology
Research Methods in Criminal Justice and Criminology
Unit V Project
Part 4: Discussion and Conclusion
The discussion and conclusion is the part of the research report in which researchers discuss their study findings, study limitations, related implications, and the
importance of the research to the field of criminal justice.
To prepare your discussion and conclusion, complete the following tasks:
1. Discussion a. Provide an in-depth discussion of the findings that could have resulted if you actually conducted your proposed study. i. Remember to return to your
research questions and/or hypotheses as well as findings from the studies you discussed in your literature review to assist you in developing this section of the
research report. b. Provide a discussion about any conclusions that can be drawn from the anticipated findings. i. You are in essence being asked to discuss whether or
not you think that you would have found support for your hypotheses, answers to your research questions, or additional research questions. c. Provide a discussion
about any study limitations that are associated with your proposed study’s research methodology. i. Remember that your study’s limitations would have been considered
during the development of your research methodology. 2. Conclusion a. Provide a discussion about the potential impact of the results of your study on the field of
criminal justice (e.g., practices and policies). i. Include a discussion about how managers in criminal justice agencies would be able to use your study’s findings as
managerial tools for working with criminal justice personnel. b. Provide a discussion about future research possibilities that are related to your proposed study. 3.
Cite all your sources in APA format, both in-text and in the reference list. 4. Ensure the research methodology is a minimum of two double-spaced pages. Remember that
you can return to the studies you discussed in your literature review to assist you in developing the discussion and conclusion section of the research report. There
you will find varying examples of discussion and conclusion sections of research reports. Note: This part of the assignment requires that you use your knowledge of the
existing research in the field, the understanding of your proposed study design, and your intellectual creativity to discuss some potential findings that could result
if you had actually conducted the study. Based on that discussion, you are able to provide a conclusion that identifies areas in need of additional research and
discusses the significance of your proposed study to the field of criminal justice. This is the part of the research project where your empirically inspired opinions
should be discussed. There should be very few direct quotes that appear in this portion of the research report. If possible, no direct quotes should appear in this
section of the research report. Thus, this portion of the research report should be dominated by your voice.
Teacher comments:Good work completing the Unit II Project for this course. In the field of criminal justice, there is always the need for the development of evidence-
based strategies, programs, and policies. The evidence that is used to influence changes in the field of criminal justice is extracted from the findings of criminal
justice research studies that are conducted by social science researchers, such as yourself. Therefore, there is a continual need to conduct criminal justice research
that examines current issues in the field. You are tasked with developing a research study that explores a current issue in the field of criminal justice.
In the future, expand further on Part I and Part II. Also, submit each section in a research-based format and not as a formal outline. What crime rates are you
assessing? Violent crimes? non-violent crimes? What part of the US? What educational levels are being assessed? Why? Expand further and explain your research topic in
more detail as you lead into the research questions posed. What challenges exist with this research design? Also, all references should be on a separate page.
I look forward to reading the next submission of your course project which is the literature review. The literature review is the part of the research report in which
researchers evaluate the methods and findings of existing research related to that topic, determine what is already known about the topic and how what is known relates
to what they are interested in, find support for their chosen methodologies and/or find ideas for drafting a methodology, and identify gaps in the literature that
suggest that the research being conducted by the researcher will forever advance the knowledge in the field.
Copy of paper: Criminal Justice
(A study on the relationship between the rate of criminal activities and education)
Columbia Southern University
Table of Contents
Significance of the study 4
Research objectives 4
Research design 5
Literature review 6
Choice of topic 6
Does level of education affect crime rates? 6
Does education help in eradicating crime? 6
Does the time spend in education affect the society crime rates? 6
Theoretical literature review 7
Rational choice theory 7
Social disorganization theory 7
Strain theory 7
Biological theory 8
Social control theory 8
Research gap 8
Research Methodology 8
Research design 9
Target population 9
Data collection techniques 9
Data Analysis techniques 10
Criminal Justice and Criminology
Criminal justice systems are institutions that the government puts in place in a bid to ensure prevalence of social coherence according to Freudenberg and Heller
(2016). Specifically, the aim is ensuring that crime in the society is reduced if not eradicated. Those who are found guilty of distorting social peace are dealt with
set rules and regulations by these systems. For a long time, crime has been associated with the idle minds and lack of proper literate levels within the society.
People are not absorbed in to main stream job market and as a result levels of crime have been highly attributed to the illiteracy levels. Researchers have argued that
there is a positive correlation between the levels of education in a society and crime rates exhibited by members. This form the basis of interest in this research
topic to enable the researcher to find out this relationship.
Moreover, according to Squires (2016), there exists a thin line that distinguishes criminology from criminal justice. Criminology narrows down to the study of crime
and causes of such crimes within the society. It also gives the consequences and the costs that are involved in dealing with the crimes committed. Criminal justice, on
the other hand, deals with the detection of criminal activities within the societies. This system also gives a pathway in which crimes are investigated and tried to
ensure a crime free society.
The whole criminal justice system is made up of law enforcement units, the justice courts, and correctional units of those found guilty of crimes committed. In law
enforcement, police are the main players. They are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that criminal activities are subdued and detected early enough to
prevent grave situations. According to Freudenberg and Heller (2016), the court system is made up of lawyers, judges, and juries who work in a highly-integrated system
that acts professionally in ensuring that justice is served to both the accused parties and accusers. After the court has convicted criminals, they are handed over to
the correctional facilities. This involves a system of rehabilitation activities that are highly important when it comes to having corrected minds emerge from the
correctional facilities at the end of their terms. The three parts of the system all work in tandem to ensure that there is no breakage in the criminal justice system.
A countries peace and social coherence highly relies on the ability of the criminal justice to deal with the criminals.
Significance of the study
This study will be beneficial to the following groups;
Scholars of criminal justice will find this research important. They will be able to apply these research findings on future studies. This research aims at covering an
important field of criminal justice and will be a good read to students of law. The research will also close the gap that exists in criminal justice researches on the
relationship existing between levels of education and crime within the society.
Government and its institutions will find this research useful in making important decisions. Important governance policies will derive some guidance from this
research. For instance, education investments may be given more priority after the completion of this research.
The general objective of this research paper will be to determine the relationship that exists between the criminal rates and the society education levels.
i. To find out how level of education affect crime rates
ii. To find out how education can help in crime eradication
iii. To find out how time spend in education affects crime rates
Part 1 B
To address the above objectives, the research aims at answering the following questions.
i. Does the level of education affect the crime rates?
ii. Does education help in eradicating crime?
iii. Does the time spend in education affect the society crime rates?
Part 1 C
Any research follows a specific system in data collection. As such, this research will entail collection and analysis of various types of data. The research design to
be adopted by this research will be descriptive; observation will also be key in arriving at important research conclusions. The research design is particularly
important based on the fact that the researcher had fair knowledge on the subject matter. This type of research design is of particular importance as the researcher
aimed at adding on knowledge that already exists in the field of criminology.
Data was collected by use of questionnaires. Closed ended questionnaires were of particular importance as they provided the researcher with an appropriate and easy way
of analysing the data collected. The qualitative nature of the research topic also made it appropriate to use questionnaires as respondents were require to apply what
they think about the relationship between education and crime levels.
Choice of topic
Crime and education levels have an inverse relationship. Consequently, it is possible to lower the levels of crime by increasing educational levels of a society.
However, this involves a trade-off between economic benefits and crime reduction. Crime is negative and comes with detrimental effects on the social wellbeing of
individuals who take part in criminal activities and the victims of these activities. This topic will mainly focus on answering the three research questions as
indicated in the proceeding chapter.
Does level of education affect crime rates?
The research aims at establishing whether the level of education of individuals affect their involvement in crime. This research also seeks to know whether the type of
crime is directly related to the level of education attained by an individual. It has been argued that different types of crimes are committed by people with different
intellectual capabilities. The study will seek to explore this perception.
Does education help in eradicating crime?
Crime and education are said to have an inverse relationship. However,the case is not empirically proven. The research sets out and find whether there is a positive
relationship between education and crime eradication. It seeks to determine whether the assertion whether higher educational level among individual, leads to more
Does the time spend in education affect the society crime rates?
The question is derived from the assertion that crime is undertaken by idle minds. There are unproven thoughts suggesting that the rates of unemployment in different
societies will affect levels of crime. The theories justify the notion that crime is a thing of the idle minds that remain unemployed.
Theoretical literature review
A number of researchers have undertaken studies on criminal justice. However, none has completely dealt with the issue of crime and education. Moreover, scholars have
come up with several theories that form an important part of this research paper.
Rational choice theory
Cornish and Clarke (2014) illustrates that rational choice theory, people will tend to think about risks that are involved in a certain criminal activity versus the
rewards they are likely to derive from such activities before taking part in acts of crime. For instance, a bank robber will consider the possibility of getting away
with a lot of cash versus being caught in the act of stealing and being jailed. They also will consider the possibility of being killed in the process. Consequently,
the theory, concludes that no matter the education level, the decision of engaging in crime is a well predetermined thought (Cornish and Clarke, 2014).
Social disorganization theory
Additionally, Braga and Clarke (2014) ague that social disorganisation theory links the environment that one stays directly to crime levels exhibited by the
individuals. The theory asserts that an individual raised in areas with poor social amenities, for instance, will be more prone to crime. Moreover, the theory to some
extend supports the belief that the level of education is related to the crime rates in the society. For instance, a person raised in an area where there are no
schools is believed to be more prone to criminal activities as compared to an individual raised up in an area where there are many schools (Braga and Clarke, 2014).
According to May et al., (2015), different individuals have various ambitions in life. However, the underlying believes is that everyone wants to lead a successful
life. The theory argue that some people get what they aim for in life in a very easy way while others have to struggle to achieve whatever they want to. This leads to
frustrations and in many cases crimes are witnessed as a result of the high frustration levels. Therefore,the theory does not fully support the belief that education
levels have anything to do with crime rates (May et al., 2015).
Furthermore, biological theory derives its justification from the belief that people inherit certain behaviours from their parents. Akers (2013), argue that biological
factors are considered as an underlying determinant that perpetrate crimes by those individuals whose families have a history of involvement in crime. The theory,
therefore, does not find any existing correlation between the crime levels and levels of education of individuals (Akers, 2013).
Social control theory
Moreover, Blair, Wilcox, & Eck (2017) demonstrates that the people would commit crimes were it not for societal controls in place. The controls are said to be what
society views as evil and what it views as right. People are forced to tow lines of the society. Any diversions from the norms of these societies are viewed as
criminal to that particular group. As such this theory supports the assertion that crime rates are directly related to the education levels of a given society as what
the society teaches is what people will exhibit in their characters.
There has been little research on how education levels affect the crime rates of a given society. This study will, therefore, focus at exploiting the gap that is
existent in the research field and determining the actual relationship that exists between crime and education.
Research methodology in this section aims at designing an appropriate strategy of data collection and analysis in order to meet the research objectives as stated in
chapter 1 of this paper. The methods of data collection are highly descriptive based on the target population who are people who come face to face with criminals and
also investigate criminal activities. These people include the attorneys, police officers and judges. Their contribution to this research will be important to help at
arriving at important research conclusions that forms the basis of this research.
The research design adopted in this study is descriptive based on observation of behaviours of individuals involved in crime by the respondents. The research design is
appropriate given the fact that the researcher is fairly knowledgeable on the study phenomenon but has little knowledge as regard their characteristics and specific
A population can be described as the total number of items in a sample space. It is, however, impossible to study a whole population as it may require a lot of time to
do so. This is what prompts a researcher to limit the number of respondents. In this case, the researcher will use census sampling where the target respondents will be
chosen randomly and requested to fill in the closed ended questionnaires that will assist in arriving at right conclusions.
Data collection techniques
Questionnaires will be used as the main items for data collection. Closed ended questionnaires are preferred to open ended ones for this study. It entails the use of
specific questions that are answered in either yes or no responses. According to Karlsson (2016), the type of questionnaires are advantageous for the following
reasons; as compared to the open ended questions that gives freedom to respondents in answering of questions, closed ended questionnaires limit respondents to
predetermined answers thus limiting the variations in answers given, it also provides a quick way of collecting data and analysing the results thereafter of data
collected as compared to open ended questionnaires. The answers that are collected from closed ended questionnaires are easy to code and analyse thus will save the
researcher a lot of time and resources. The research is also targeting to be all inclusive as it touches on levels of education. This means that those interviewed will
not necessarily have the same level of education. A closed ended questionnaire gives such groups equal opportunities to respond to questions unlike the open-ended
types of questions.
Despite having these advantages, closed ended questionnaires also have a number of disadvantages. These are; the answer options provided may not be in the options that
the respondent would have filed in were it an open question. This means that such questions are limiting to respondents and answers collected may not necessarily
reflect the respondent’s view. Karlsson (2016) illustrates that questionnaires may also be long and tiring to fill, and as a result, respondents may find it hard to
have full concentration and provide required answers for the questions raised. This may affect the level of results achieved. Some of the questions that are asked in
questionnaires are not what respondents would like to answer. For instance, some questions on individuals’ personal education levels may be personal, and respondents
might not be willing to give such personal information
Data Analysis techniques
The research involves gathering of statistical data in relation to various levels of education. Consequently, the researcher will use qualitative and quantitative data
analysis procedures. The integration of both analysis methods is important as it helps in ensuring accuracy and particular attention to details of the study on levels
of education and crime rates. Data collected will be analysed on excel worksheets in order to give mathematical accuracy and comparisons made by respondents in
relation to education and crime rates in the society.
Quantitative analysis will be applied using descriptive statistics gathered from questionnaires. This will include using percentages, frequency tables, bar charts and
pie charts to give a critical overview of data collected. This quantitative tools will be important to the study as it will give a fine edge to the findings arrived at
making the data accurate and usable by the various scholars who will want to do farther research on the criminal justice areas of study.
Theories earlier explained in literature review are not conclusive as they are not empirically proven. The relationship between education levels and criminal
activities is an important aspect in criminal justice. There has been no enough study in this area to justify whether there is a relationship between levels of crime
and education. Studies have not also shown whether the type of crime committed by an individual is directly related to the education levels. As such, this study will
seek to approve or disapprove the various theories that exist between levels of education and crime rates and nature in the next chapters.
Akers, R. L. (2013). Criminological Theories: Introduction and Evaluation. Routledge.
Blair, L., Wilcox, P., & Eck, J. (2017). Facilities, Opportunity, and Crime: An Exploratory Analysis of Places in Two Urban Neighborhoods. Crime Prevention and
Community Safety, 19(1), 61-81.
Braga, A. A., & Clarke, R. V. (2014). Explaining High-Risk Concentrations of Crime in the City: Social Disorganization, Crime Opportunities, and Important Next Steps.
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 51(4), 480-498.
Cornish, D. B., & Clarke, R. V. (Eds.). (2014). The Reasoning Criminal: Rational Choice Perspectives On Offending. Transaction Publishers.
Freudenberg, N., & Heller, D. (2016). A Review Of Opportunities To Improve The Health Of People Involved In The Criminal Justice System In The United States. Annual
Review of Public Health, 37, 313-333.
Karlsson, C. (Ed.). (2016). Research Methods for Operations Management. Routledge.
May, D. C., Keith, S., Rader, N. E., & Dunaway, R. G. (2015). Predicting Adolescent Fear of Crime through the Lens of General Strain Theory. Sociological Focus, 48(2),
Squires, P. (2016). The Coalition and Criminal Justice. The Coalition Government and Social Policy: Restructuring the Welfare State, 285.