Due by 11:59 PM on Saturday, February 29, 2020
Here you will explain the design for your proposed research. There are 3 elements to this section.
With the evolution of the criminal justice system and its continued reliance on technology, the electronic monitoring system is a safer and more effective way to keep track of criminals and reduce the recidivism of the probationers. With probation officers under increasing caseloads and having to keep track of more and more probationers, the people on probation are followed less and have less supervision while on probation. This gives the probationers the opportunity to break their rules with a less likely chance that the overworked officer will catch them. The ankle electronic monitoring system helps the officer keep track of more cases easier and track the probationers more closely.
There are a few variables that are part of the electronic monitoring research. The independent variable of the research is the electronic monitoring devices and the dependent variable is the reduction of recidivism. The reduction of recidivism directly relates to the use of the ankle monitoring device. With the ankle monitor, it convinces the probationer to stick to his clean ways because the probation officer will be notified of the user’s actions. Without the electronic monitoring device the people on probation could be tempted to break their rules because the officer is overworked and sees them less.
There are a few threats to the internal validity of this research. The first threat is history, unknown external events such as unexpected visits from old friends who are against the probation rules, this would cause them to break their probation and go back to jail. Another threat is instrumentation, the constant upgrade of ankle monitoring devices and the wide variety available to the probation officers can cause a reliability issue in the tracking of the probationers. A third threat is the selection biases; this is a problem because there is a higher likelihood that rich, white people will be selected for the use of the monitoring system. These people are less likely to recidivate due to their social status.
There is construct validity threats as well. With this research it has to be sure that the ankle monitoring devices are actually the things that are reducing recidivism. There could be other things that could cause a reduction in recidivism, such as a group of individuals that made a mistake once, or an over active probation officer could keep track of the probationers so well that they have no chance to break their probation.
Reliability can become an issue in this research. When researching you want to make sure that the results that are produced can yield the same result if the experiment is done over and over in different areas. When gathering information on whether the electronic ankle monitoring devices actually affect the recidivism of probationers the data needs to be reliable. The way to avoid the reliability issues in this experiment is to use interrater reliability. This way the results could be compared to other results gathered by other researchers to see if the data is reliable. Also, the test-retest method could be applied to make sure that the data gathered is reliable and accurate.
The research being done dose have some ethical considerations to be dealt with. First, since it is a research project it would have to be cleared by the Institutional Review Board. They would make sure that there were no issues with the project. Some issues would be that the people being studied would be considered special populations and thus would require informed consent before starting the study. Another ethical problem that could occur is asking them about what they do on probation and trying to get the information from them without tricking or deceiving them. If the subjects are deceived then the data will not be reliable.
In the data and methods section of the research design, the units of analysis would be individuals. The thing that is being studied are probationers, and they are people that are the same. The sampling procedure would be a disproportionate stratified sampling. This is the procedure for this research because not everyone is on probation, so it is not something common or a representative of the population. The people for the research have to be chosen from select cases where the people are on probation.
The sample size of this research proposal would hopefully be bigger than smaller. Other research on this topic has had over fifty thousand people in their research. The one that is proposed would have about ten thousand participants in it. This is smaller than most of the other sample sizes so there would be less spurious data. But, it will have enough participants that the data will not be skewed in one way or another. With the methods of collection, the data would be collected through a mostly qualitative survey. This form of collection would be used because trying to discover whether the electronic ankle monitoring device actually influences people not to break their probation and actually decrease recidivism wouldn’t require numerical data. A longitudinal study would also be conducted during this study; a survey would be conducted just as the people got onto probation and when they received the ankle monitoring system. Then another survey would be presented to the subjects at the end of their probation period to see the results.
There are some consequences to using this type of sample. Using a smaller sample size can sometimes be more accurate but has a tendency to more easily be skewed by outliers; it can also have a higher sampling error. A larger sample size on the other hand tends to average out the outliers and creates a larger picture that dose not really show the real data. Using a cross sectional study gives a real in depth view of the subjects during one point in time, but times always change so the data produced can quickly become obsolete. The longitudinal study covers the subjects over a longer period of time so it does not become old as quickly but does not go into as much depth as the other one dose. Lastly, using an experiment can cause unexpected problem among the subjects, such as the Stanford prison experiment where the subjects ended up suffering mental problems, causing the experiment to end quickly. A control on the other hand can produce results that are false. Placebos can trick people into thinking that they are actually feeling the results the real drug or treatment were supposed to produce.
For the surveys given to the participants, it would be broken up into two different surveys. The first survey would be given at the start of their probation. It would ask on whether they had the electronic ankle monitor as part of their probation, how long their probation is and other questions along those lines. The second survey would be sent to the house of the person on probation and ask whether they felt it influenced them to not break probation, if they thought about breaking their probation, and whether they finished their probation without breaking any of the rules. Assistants and sending the surveys with a return envelope and postage will be the methods of handing out and collecting the surveys for this research. The positives of this process are that the subjects don’t have to gather at a certain place to take the survey and it is easier for them. But, at the same time this does not make the survey seem important and they could not fill it out. Also the people on probation could lie on the survey skewing the results. This format was chosen due to its easy style to answer for the participants and would show whether the electronic ankle monitoring devices actually have an influence on the recidivism of the users.
The intended results from this research project would show that the use of electronic ankle monitoring devices used in probation actually reduces recidivism and makes the probation officers job easier. The device convinces the wearer that if they were to try and run away from their sentence or to go into areas that are off limits, the probation officer would quickly learn of it and they would break their rules of probation and head back to jail. With this success of reduced recidivism, the monitoring device should be more widely used than the amount it is now. It could help cut back crimes and pull back the prison population which is stressing our corrections area. The thought of someone watching them during their probation causes the subjects to change their habits for the better, so that by the time they are free people their bad habits have been changed to ones that won’t send them back to prison.
Please explain your intended results and the significance for developing this study.