Criminal Justice Dissertation Topics?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by me again, Oct 16, 2005.

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  1. me again

    me again Active Member

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    With the following two points in mind:
    • Availability of data
    • Ease of data collection
    Can anyone think of any good criminal justice dissertation topics? Thoughts??? Ideas???

    I have access to a sheriff's office, to include arrest data from a jail. I've contemplated doing something along the lines of officer satisifaction, but haven't pinpointed any solid ideas yet. Still fishing for something tangible and am wondering how to collect the data on it and am wondering how to measure it. I have a couple of years to find something, but am disappointed that nothing solid has popped into my mind yet.
     
  2. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Active Member

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    Just a thought?

    You MIGHT take a look at recidivism rates among graduates of adult drug court programs.

    My impression is that adult drug courts don't work any better than any other sanction, i.e. fines or jail, but there's a lot of data to be mined out there and I don't think it's anything like exhausted as a subject.
     
  3. me again

    me again Active Member

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    Ohhhhhhh thanks for the idea!!! We just started a drug court this year. Very thought provoking. Since all the drug court arrestees are sent to drug court, who would I compare them to?
     
  4. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    Perhaps you could compare them to drug arrestees sent to regular court in the bad old days before drug court. Or compare them to some nearby jurisdiction that doesn't have a drug court. No?
     
  5. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Active Member

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    Well, remember that I have never written a dissertation and cannot therefore pretend to advise you regarding a suitable research model...

    But.

    There's YEARS of recidivism data concerning repeat DWI or DUI offenders in virtually EVERY decent sized jurisdiction. Why not see if the recidivism rate drops amongst drug court graduates as opposed to the earlier population of similarly situated defendants?

    Note, please, that these findings are of enormous potential practical importance since a hell of a lot of govenment money is now being directed into these programs...it would be nice to know if they work!
     
  6. me again

    me again Active Member

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    Ah yes, you've given me something to chew on. Thanks so much. :)
     
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Active Member

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    How about the efficacy and/or cost efficiency of privatized prisons? Many claims about both, but little real data from independent sources. Huge movement, especially considering that corporations get prisons built when/where governments can't convince their constiuents to pony up the bucks.
     
  8. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    Interesting. Prisons for profit. How would that work? ... I mean, financially.
     
  9. MichaelGates

    MichaelGates New Member

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  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Active Member

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    Two decisions: who will build/finance the prison and who will operate it. Usually, it is the private prison company who does both.

    For example, a jurisdiction needs to build a prison. It turns to a private firm to finance and build it. The company builds the prison, then leases it back to the jurisdiction. (Perhaps a 20-year lease, where the jurisdiction owns the building thereafter.)

    Who operates? Either public employees from the government (state, local, even federal) or it can be done by the private company's staff under contract. The government still maintains legal custody, but the prison company maintains physical custody. They normally do this under a set of standards set forth in the contract. But parole, classification, release, intake, etc. decisions are made by the government. Simple, really.
     
  11. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    Oh! I was wondering if we were going over to a system of charging prisoners for rent ... and giving them the options of either barebones accomodations at rates comparable to Motel 6 or maybe something more upscale, if you'd like it and can afford it. Or maybe we could have prisons where the prisoners are made to labor in the prison factory and make our profit that way.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2005
  12. me again

    me again Active Member

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    I've never worked in corrections, so I would never do a dissertation in that area. However, I do have access to jail statistics, which could reveal certain patterns of recidivism. Still chewing.
     
  13. BruceP

    BruceP Member

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    Me again,

    You could compare your drug court graduates to other types of drug programs... in California we have (or at least had... I've been away from direct law enforcement for a while) drug diversions (offenders diverted from the court system to complete court ordered drug education programs)...

    As previously mentioned you could also compare pre-drug court offenders over a similar period of time...

    There are also (text)books out there that talk about what topics require more research...

    You could also review academic journals for ideas...
     
  14. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

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    What I would do is take myself off to the nearest university library and plant myself in a comfy chair along with the last 5 years worth of issues of the best CJ journals. Then just start flipping pages. Good luck.
    Jack
     
  15. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Active Member

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    Research population?

    Probably the easiest way to gain access to inmate populations would be to get yourself convicted of, oh say, trafficking cocaine within a mile of a School for Delinquent Children and then get sent up for a year or so...

    Might lend a kind of "gritty reality" to your doctoral thesis proposal!
     
  16. me again

    me again Active Member

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    Sure, I'll do a review of the literature. That's the easy part!!! :eek:
     
  17. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

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    Actually, it is.
    Jack
     
  18. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner New Member

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    From memory...

    Domestic topic: The relationship between media coverage of criminal acts and copycat crimes.

    Global topic: The relationship between the number of terrorist acts by a group and media coverage of the group. The underlying question is that if media outlets restricted coverage of terrorist acts to a minimum, would it be a disincentive for the commission of such acts through extinction. Would people blow themselves up, if they knew that it would never be reported to their perceived enemy in a way that would evoke "terror"?

    Some thoughts,

    Dave
     

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