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Juvenile Reentry Program: Research Methodology Essay


The research objectives will be addressed by both the qualitative (inductive) and quantitative (deductive) research methods. Creswell (2012) affirmed both qualitative and quantitative paradigms when combined results in a mixed research method that optimizes the advantages of both paradigms. Problems that arise due to personal bias can be avoided while ensuring the ability to examine data with a broader perspective as well as benefiting from the combined benefits of the qualitative and quantitative paradigms.

The goal will be to investigate the effectiveness of the juvenile reentry program by identifying the elements that make the programs effective among the youth. Besides, the study will investigate the issues and barriers that should be avoided to successfully implement the programs. This will be done to evaluate and select the most effective model based on a review of existing literature, which will be the source of secondary data for statistical analysis. In criminology, juvenile reentry programs define community-based restraints and interventional research. Here, the causal relationship between dependent and independent variables and theoretical statements will provide a clear explanation of the programs’ phenomena. Positivism will apply to verify the internal, external, objective, and data reliability.

Research Instrument

The questionnaire will be used as the instrument to collect primary data that will be analyzed to establish the correlational nature using SPSS and excels programs. The rationale is to collect information about the characteristics, behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs of both the juveniles and those administering the programs on the success rates of the reentry programs and how that has reduced recidivism (Bouffard, & Bergseth, 2008). Here, the questionnaire will be administered to collect data on the key features of the effectiveness of the program, which will be pegged on reducing substance abuse, solving family problems, supporting emotional stability, supporting intellectually impaired juveniles, and helping to solve school problems among the other questionnaire constructs. The questionnaire provides respondent anonymity, less pressure for immediate response to answer the question.

Measurement Techniques

The effectiveness of the entry program will be measured using a questionnaire consisting of a constructed scale. In this case, the Likert scale is deemed to be the most appropriate to measures the attitudes of different respondents on the effectiveness of the program in reducing recidivism. Besides, the order effect, pattern answering, central tendency, and acquiescence will apply in this case to ensure the validity of the responses.

  1. Strongly disagree………………………………..
  2. Disagree…………………………………………….
  3. Neither agrees nor disagrees…………………
  4. Agree………………………………………………….
  5. Strongly agree……………………………………..

The Validity and Reliability of the Questionnaire

Creswell (2012) stated that covariation of the cause and effect of the variables being investigated should be demonstrated to be due to the effect of one variable on the other if a test and retest was done. The cause and effect were established by statistically analyzing the data to show a correlation coefficient that theoretically shows strongly correlated variables. Besides, there should be no other explanations about the effects to ensure the internal validity of the questionnaire without any plausible alternative explanations.

For instance, five programs were evaluated, and the data was collected and analyzed to determine the most appropriate program to test the validity of the questionnaire. The programs that were evaluated include:

  1. The Intensive Aftercare Program (IAP)
  2. Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP)
  3. The Skillman Intensive Aftercare Program
  4. Violent Juvenile Offender Program
  5. The Reentry Services Project (RSP)

A sample of 20 respondents was selected from correctional officers to test the questionnaire on if the program is effective in preventing juveniles from getting rearrested, and a descriptive statistics were done on the responses shown in table 1.

Statistics
The Intensive Aftercare Program (IAP) Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP) The Skillman Intensive Aftercare Program Violent Juvenile Offender Program The Reentry Services Project (RSP)
N Valid 20 20 20 20 0
Missing 0 0 0 0 20
Mean 2.9500 3.5000 3.1500 3.5000
Std. Deviation 1.39454 1.19208 1.63111 1.39548
Skewness -.031 -.104 -.267 -.775
Std. Error of Skewness .512 .512 .512 .512

The point of interest is the Skewness, which is a measure of the central tendency of the statistical measures. By comparing the value of the Skewness among the programs, the Violent Juvenile Offender Program has the greatest negative skew of -.775, while The Intensive Aftercare Program (IAP) has the lowest negative skew of -.031. Intensive Aftercare Program (IAP) is less skewed to the left and could be interpreted to mean that it is the program that has done better than the other programs. The questionnaire is valid because it has provided the expected results.

Cultural competency of the questionnaire

The questionnaire is a widely accepted tool for data collection that many people are conversant with. Ethical and privacy issues are preserved because it provides a significant level of confidentiality.

Dependent and independent variables

The variables that were classified into the dependent variable that consists of identifiable elements, which include:

  • Dependent variable: Age, gender, educational and vocational training.
  • Independent variable: offense severity level, including offenses, previous incarceration, commitment offense, and offense history.

Level of reliability of high-risk groups can be maintained

The level of reliability can be maintained in the group by involving different groups in the research process to ensure that high-risk groups are factored into the process. Besides, the selection criteria of the sample for the study will include probabilistic samples and stratified sampling methods.

The target population and sampling approach

The stratified sampling method, with some element of probability, will be used to select the sample for analysis. In this case, the rationale for using stratified sampling is to ensure that the sample is collected for different subgroups.It is worth noting that the method is appropriate because the strata that are used to define the sample size from the target population that has a large number of different population characteristics are appropriate for the study (Bazemore & Umbreit, 2001). Typically, the entire process is to divide the group into groups and subgroups to make the distribution homogeneous.

Probability vs. non-probability sampling

Probability sampling is done using random methods, while non-probability sampling is dependents of facts and not randomness of the sample. In probability sampling, a table of random numbers will be used to generate the correct sample size.

Sample size and justification

The sample size will be 200 participants because it will be representative of the target population of the youth who have been reintegrated into the community.

Sampling process

In this case, the sampling procedure will involve taking identifying the population of interest in the first place. Then, the researcher will have to ensure that the sample is accurate and representative of the population. The accuracy of the sample will be assured by the level of representativeness of the sample. Typically, the researcher makes sure that the sample is representative and accurate.

Research design

The researcher uses both the descriptive and correlational and literature review research design. The rationale is to ensure that the research problem is well understood and accurately defined, enables the new approach to ensure that literature that is related to the research design has been studied, and the research questions that are central to the research problem are well understood. In this case, a survey research design will be done to provide the researcher with the necessary data for statistical analysis. The modes of data collection, in this case, will include interviews, questionnaires, and emails, and personal mails.

Key features of research design

The research design is both qualitative and quantitative. The rationale is that data will be collected for descriptive statistical analysis and will accommodate multiple variables for analysis. Besides, analytical methods are utilized to conduct a descriptive study. In addition, this type of research design will enable the researcher to predict, measure, and conclude the results of the research accurately.

The strengths of the study include easy implementation because it is clear and easy to understand. The natures of the reports are easy to read, understand, and report in any given format. In addition, the findings are well founded and understood besides being easy to collaborate and cross validate (Young, 2004). The weaknesses of the study include the inability to identify the effects of the reentry program on specific offenders. On the other hand, the problem of selecting the subjects is another weakness.

The threats to internal validity include history, which means that intervening events that occur between the data collection period might affect the results, consistency of the first and the last tests, and the problem of statistical regression. On the other hand, threats to external validity include the inability to remove the aspect of ambiguity completely. In addition, the threats to internal validity such as instrumentation issues, maturation, history, and selection bias were removed or addressed appropriately to ensure internal validity of the questionnaire. On the other hand, external validity was assured by removing or addressing the threats to external validity. The threats were addressed by avoiding interactions with the respondent to influence the outcomes. Besides, aptitude, pre-test effects, situational factors, and reactivity were removed to ensure validity and reliability.

The problems can be overcome by creating an test sample to establish whether the results will be as anticipated.

Ethical safeguards and diversity issues

Confidentiality will be accorded the researchers in a note that will assure them of the level of privacy and confidentiality they want. No informaiton will be revealed to another third party without the prior permission of the participant.

How to obtain the authorization for the research project

A letter will be scripted and sent to the respective departmental head before it is forwarded to the respective authorities fringing and confirmation.

How to ensure safety and wellbeing of participants

The participants will be assured of their safety by informing the authorities about the exercise and seeking for the necessary protection and advice. In addition, the participants will be mad aware of any threat to their safety before the data collection exercise starts.

References

Bazemore, G., & Umbreit, M. (2001). Web.

Bouffard, J., & Bergseth, K. (2008). Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 6(3), 295-318. Web.

Young, D. (2004). Federal Probation, 68(2), 70. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Juvenile Reentry Program: Research Methodology." August 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/juvenile-reentry-program-research-methodology/.

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