The methodology applied to any research endeavors is an important aspect of the project. The methodology must be appropriate for the study to ensure that the results of the study are accurate and pertinent to the subject matter. The purpose of this research is to study the increase of recidivism rates in the U.S.
Data for this research will be obtained through the Internet and will be a study of the data available concerning the subsequent arrests of offenders who have been arrested and convicted previously. The data mining efforts will include resources such as Google Scholar and the on-line library to obtain studies that have been performed by other researchers concerning this topic. This provides the opportunity to obtain scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as data that has been published in books. Any agencies, such as the Department of Justice, will be searched to determine if data is available from those sources concerning recidivism rates. Other sources will be utilized provided the data retrieved is applicable to the subject matter of the study and the data is verifiable (Amsberry, 2008).
The methodology that will be employed for the course of this research is offered through the methodology as presented through quantitative research. Quantitative research methodology provides researchers the ability to conduct empirical research through the investigation of variables that are observable and measurable. This methodology is appropriate to test theories, predict outcomes, and determine the relationships that exist between variables through the implementation of statistical analysis. This methodology involves the use of primary data collection and a secondary data analysis. The primary data collection is conducted through the use of electronic methods, such as the Internet, or in person by the researcher. Statistical analysis is applied to the data retrieved to assess the relationships between and among the variables presented. This methodology allows for research to be performed on studies conducted by other authors where the psychometric properties consisting of reliability and validity have been established serving as the basis of measuring the variables. Secondary data analysis is the statistical analysis of data sets that are publicly available as presented by other researchers or organizations. The research question presented must by based on the available data. The methodology selected must be based on the nature of the questions presented, the state of the field, and the feasibility of the research (Capella University, 2015). This methodology allows for the data collection processes as required by an empirical study of the evidence available.
There are no known exclusions for this study as many law enforcement agencies provide this information as a public service. No personal information will be divulged as this research focuses solely on the rate of recidivism and is not concerned with the types of crimes that have been committed. Certain demographical information, such as sociodemographic information may be employed as a means to determine trends in recidivism.
Care does need to be applied to the data obtained to ensure that certain offenses are considered once in order to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the results. This entails obtaining data for specified time frames, such as a certain year, from one source instead of a multitude of sources for the same period of time. If the data is obtained from multiple sources, the results would overinflate the rate of recidivism. Another area of concern is the possibility of incomplete statistics available for any period of time as it will provide an incomplete view of the rate of recidivism. Efforts will be undertaken to ensure the quality and quantity of the data retrieved.
The hypothesis that the rate of recidivism is increasing will be reflected by the number of incidences reported compared to the same length of time for a previous year. The hypothesis will be proven if the rate of recidivism increases and will be disproved if the rate of recidivism decreases.
- Amsberry, D. (2008). What is Empirical Research? Penn State University Libraries. Retrieved from https://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/researchguides/edupsych/empirical.html
- Capella University (2015). What Are Acceptable Dissertation Research Methods? Retrieved from http://www.capella.edu/blogs/cublog/acceptable-dissertation-research-methods/