Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology : A Text and Reader book cover
1st Edition

Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology
A Text and Reader

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 13, 2021
ISBN 9780367508890
May 13, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
726 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book explains and illustrates criminal justice research topics, including ethics in research, research design, causation, operationalization of variables, sampling, methods of data collection (including surveys), reliance on existing data, validity, and reliability. For each approach, the book addresses the procedures and issues involved, the method’s strengths and drawbacks, and examples of actual research using that method. Every section begins with a brief summary of the research method. Introductory essays set the stage for students regarding the who, what, when, where, and why of each research example, and relevant discussion questions and exercises direct students to focus on the important concepts.

Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology: A Text and Reader features interesting and relevant articles from leading journals, which have been expertly edited to highlight research design issues. The text offers instructors a well-rounded and convenient collection that eliminates the need to sift through journals to find articles that illustrate important precepts. All articles are recent and address issues relevant to the field today, such as immigration and crime, security post-9/11, racial profiling, and selection bias in media coverage of crime.

The book encourages classroom discussion and critical thinking and is an essential tool for undergraduate and graduate research methods courses in criminal justice, criminology, and related fields.

Table of Contents



1. Introduction

The Scientific Method

Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Basic and Applied Research

Steps of the Research Process


Key Terms

Discussion Questions


2. Reading and Reviewing Research

Sources of Information

Individual and Vicarious Experiences


Evaluating Sources of Information

Journal Selectivity

Sources of Funding

Research or Professional Organization Sponsorship

Reputation of Authors

Elements of Published Research



Literature Review

Research Methods




How to Read/Take Notes



Discussion Questions


3. Ethics in Criminal Justice Research

Harm in Social Science Research

Informed Consent




The Informed Consent Process

Institutional Review Boards

Some Ethical Dilemmas

Confidentiality and Anonymity

Compensating Participants




Discussion Questions


Research Reading

Reading 3-1: Researching the registered: Challenges and suggestions for researchers studying sex offender populations.

J. L. Klein, D. J. S. Bailey, & L. L. Sample

4. Causation, Experimental, and Quasi-experimental Designs

Correlation versus Causation

Hypothesis Testing and the First Element of Causation – Relationships between Two Variables

Time Order – The Second Requirement for Causation

Accounting for All Other Possible Explanations – The Third Requirement for Causation

Threats to Internal Validity


Testing Effects


Statistical Regression

Selection (Sample) Bias



Selection-Maturation Interaction

Diffusion of Treatment

Compensatory Equalization of Treatment

Compensatory Rivalry and Demoralization/Resentment

Statistical Conclusion Validity

Generalizability and Threats to External Validity

Selection Bias


Testing Effects


Multiple Treatment Interference

The Importance of Replication in Research

Classical Experiments

Additional Experimental Designs

Solomon Four-group Design and Factorial Design

Equivalent Groups Posttest-only Design


Strengths and Weaknesses of Quasi-Experimental Designs



Discussion Questions


Research Readings

Reading 4-1: The methodological struggles of racial profiling research: A causal question that automobile stop data has yet to answer

S. W. Fallik

Reading 4-2: The impact of hot spots policing on collective efficacy: Findings from a randomized field trial

T. R. Kochel & D. Weisburd

Reading 4-3: Cognitive-behavioral programming and the value of failed interventions: A propensity score evaluation

B. M. Strah, N. A. Frost, J. I. Stowell, & S. A. Taheri

5. Pre-experimental, Longitudinal, and Cross-sectional Designs

Pre-experimental Designs

One-group Before-after Design

One- and Two-group Posttest-only Designs

Longitudinal Designs

Trend Studies

Panel Studies

Cohort Studies

Accelerated or Intensive Longitudinal Designs

Potential Drawbacks to Longitudinal Designs

Cross-sectional Designs

Approximating Longitudinal Designs with Cross-sectional Data



Discussion Questions


Research Readings

Reading 5-1: Knowledge of the 911 Good Samaritan Law and 911-calling behavior of overdose witnesses

A. Jakubowski, H. V. Kunins, Z. Huxley-Reicher, & A. Siegler

Reading 5-2: A comparison between two retrospective alcohol consumption measures and the daily drinking diary method with university students

C. Patterson, L. Hogan, & M. Cox

6. Measurement, Validity, and Reliability

From Concepts to Measurements


Levels of Measurement

Scales and Indexes

Validity and Reliability

Mixed Methods Approaches to Address Validity and Reliability



Discussion Questions


Research Readings

Reading 6-1: Systemic error: Measuring gender in criminological research

J. L. Valcore & R. Pfeffer

Reading 6-2: We don’t like your type around here: Regional and residential differences in exposure to online hate material targeting sexuality

M. Costello, J. Rukus, & J. Hawdon

Reading 6-3: Popping the cultural bubble of violence risk assessment tools

S. M. Shepherd & T. Anthony

Reading 6-4: Fieldwork protocol as a safety inventory tool in public places

V. Ceccato

7. Measuring Crime: The UCR, NIBRS, and NCVS

Uniform Crime Reports

National Incident Based Reporting System

National Crime Victimization Survey



Discussion Questions


Research Readings

Reading 7-1: Urban crime rates and the changing face of immigration: Evidence across four decades

R. Adelman, L. W. Reid, G. Markle, S. Weiss, & C. Jaret

Reading 7-2: The consequences of identity theft victimization: An examination of emotional and physical health outcomes

K. Golladay & K. Holtfreter

8. Sampling

Sample Bias

Probability Sampling

Simple Random Sampling

Systematic Random Sampling

Stratified Random Sampling

Multistage Cluster Sampling

Nonprobability Sampling

Convenience and Accidental Sampling

Purposive Sampling

Quota Sampling

Snowball Sampling

Revisiting Sample Bias

Checking Your Data – Confidence Intervals and Confidence Levels

Sample Bias and Random Assignments to Groups

Finding the Right Sample Size – Statistical Power



Discussion Questions


Research Readings

Reading 8-1: Methodology matters: Comparing sample types and data collection methods in a juror decision-making study on the influence of defendant race

E. M. Maeder, S. Yamamoto, & L. A. McManus

Reading 8-2: The effect of community-level alarm ownership on burglary rates

J. Roth, S. Lee, & J. Joo

Reading 8-3: Ayúdame! Who can help me? The help-seeking decisions of battered undocumented Latinas

D. Mowder, F. Lutze, & H. Namgung

9. Surveys and Interviews

Survey Construction

Flow and Appearance of Survey


Type of Survey Distribution

In-person Surveys

Telephone Surveys

Self-administered Surveys

Specific Types of Surveys

Focus Group


Is a Survey the Right Tool for My Study?



Discussion Questions


Research Readings

Reading 9-1: The malleability of attitudes toward the police: Immediate effects of the viewing of police use of force videos

R. Boivin, A. Gendron, C. Faubert, & B. Poulin

Reading 9-2: "Well, there’s a more scientific way to do it!": Factors influencing receptivity to evidence-based practices in police organizations

H. Kalyal

10. Field Research

Roles for Field Researchers

Qualitative Field Research

Gaining Access for Research



Issues Specific to Ethnographic Research


The Work’s Impact on the Researcher

Note-taking for Qualitative Research

Structured Field Observations

Validity and Reliability of Field Research



Discussion Questions


Research Reading

Reading 10-1: Consumption and community: The subcultural contexts of disparate marijuana practices in jam band and hip-hop scenes

M. Pawson & B. C. Kelly

11. Less Obtrusive Methods

Content Analysis

Examples of Content Analysis

Secondary Data Analysis and Official Records

Primary (Raw) Data and Secondary (Published) Agency Records

Unpublished Agency Records

Example of Studies Using Secondary Data

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Secondary Data


Crime Mapping

Systematic Review and Meta-analysis



Discussion Questions


Research Readings

Reading 11-1: "I hate these little turds!": Science, entertainment, and the enduring popularity of Scared Straight programs

J. Maahs & T. C. Pratt

Reading 11-2: A quasi-experimental evaluation of the effects of police body-worn cameras (BWCs) on response-to-resistance in a large metropolitan police department

W. G. Jennings, L. A. Fridell, M. Lynch, K. K. Jetelina, & J. M. Reingle Gonzalez

Reading 11-3: Psychometric properties of the UNCOPE: Screening for DSM-5 substance use disorder among a state juvenile justice population

S. L. Proctor, A. M. Kopak, & Hoffmann, N. G.

Reading 11-4: Looking inside the black box of drug courts: A meta-analytic review

D. K. Shaffer

12. Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

Policy Analysis

Evaluation Research

Issues Unique to Evaluation Research

Designs for Evaluation Research

Should We Do the Evaluation

Will the Results Be Used?

Finding What Works in Criminal Justice



Discussion Questions


Research Readings

Reading 12-1: The cannabis effect on crime: Time-series analysis of crime in Colorado and Washington state

R. Lu, D. Willits, M. K. Stohr, D. Makin, J. Snyder, N. Lovrich, M. Meize, D. Stanton, G. Wu, & C. Hemmens

Reading 12-2: Treatment integrity and recidivism among sex offenders: The relationship between CPC scores and program effectiveness

M. Makarios, L. B. Lovins, A. J. Myer, & E. Latessa




Online Supplements

The following readings are available at

For Chapter 3, Ethics in Criminal Justice Research

Reading 3-A: Sex with informants as deviant behavior: An account and commentary

E. Goode

For Chapter 5, Pre-experimental, Longitudinal, and Cross-sectional Designs

Reading 5-A: Still paying for the past: Examining gender differences in employment among individuals with a criminal record

G. Curcio & A. Pattavina

For Chapter 8, Sampling

Reading 8-A: Homeless women’s service use, barriers, and motivation for participating in substance use treatment

C. C. Upshur, D. Jenkins, L. Weinreb, L. Gelberg, & E. A. Orvek

Reading 8-B: The willingness of people who inject drugs in Boston to use a supervised injection facility

C. León, L. Cardoso, S. Mackin, B. Bock, & J. M. Gaeta

For Chapter 9, Surveys and Interviews

Reading 9-A: The poly-drug user: Examining associations between drugs used by adolescents

R. W. Biggar Jr., C. J. Forsyth, J. Chen, & K. Burstein

Reading 9-B: Ensuring the validity of police use of force training

N. Rajakaruna, P. J. Henry, A. Cutler, & G. Fairman

For Chapter 10, Field Research

Reading 10-A: She got herself there: Narrative resistance in the drug discourse of strippers

M. F. Lavin

For Chapter 11, Less Obtrusive Methods

Reading 11-A: Newsworthiness of missing persons cases: An analysis of selection bias, disparities in coverage, and the narrative framework of news reports

M. N. Jeanis & R. A. Powers

Reading 11-B: Procedural justice, overaccommodation, and police authority and professionalism: Results from a randomized experiment

B. V. Lowrey-Kinberg


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Christine Tartaro is Professor of Criminal Justice at Stockton University. She is an expert in corrections, suicide in correctional facilities, jail design, reentry, correctional treatment of individuals with mental illness, and criminal justice education. She has been teaching research methods since 2004, including teaching both undergraduate and graduate classes, and she writes and grades the research methods questions for Stockton University’s Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Program comprehensive exam. Prior to joining Stockton University, Tartaro worked at the New Jersey Department of Corrections, where she evaluated the state residential community release program. She has served as a research consultant to state and local correctional departments and private treatment agencies. She has been published in several journals, including The Prison Journal, Corrections: Policy, Practice, and Research, and The Journal of Criminal Justice Education. Tartaro received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University and her B.A. in History from The College of New Jersey.


"This book offers an approachable introduction to research methods with plenty of examples within the field of criminology and criminal justice. Students will benefit immensely from the critical review of various research methods and their application to criminal justice topics. Additionally, this book effectively supports instructors in facilitating classroom discussions that encourage the application of critical thinking skills."

Elias S Nader, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

School of Criminal Justice

University of Baltimore