Web Exercises

Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.

1. How adequate are juvenile court records? Go to the Bureau of Justice Statistics website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/ and find a report that uses juvenile data and write a brief summary. Next, propose a mixed methods research project to evaluate the adequacy of the juvenile justice system in the collection and maintenance of juvenile law enforcement records and/or juvenile court records. Specify what data you will collect, how you will collect data, and the rationale for selecting the particular research method.

2. Go to the Bureau of Justice Statistics website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/. Under “Data Analysis Tools”, select “Dynamic Tools” and then “Prisoner Recidivism.” Based on the available data, propose a hypothesis. Specify the independent and dependent variables. Summarize the results of your analysis. Next, propose a qualitative complement to this research. Create an interview schedule of at least five open-ended questions. Who would you sample? Why? How could the respondents’ perspectives enhance your quantitative findings?

3. Go to the Homicide in New Orleans, 1898-1913 data in the Historical Violence Database maintained by the Criminal Justice Researcher Center at The Ohio State University: https://cjrc.osu.edu/research/interdisciplinary/hvd/united-states/new-orleans. Randomly select five years to study. Read through the police reports and create a profile of a common victim of homicide. What other qualitative or quantitative data source (e.g., surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc.) do you wish were available to enhance your understanding of homicide in New Orleans at the turn of the 19th century?

4. Access the Innocence Project’s website: http://www.innocenceproject.org/. Review some of the qualitative interview videos and case profiles of exonerees. What commonalities do you gather from their stories? What information can you obtain through this qualitative data that would not be available through quantitative data? Now, review some of the data tables available on their website. How can the quantitative data provide additional information to describe the experiences of the exonorees, and the magnitude of wrongful conviction?

5. Access the FBI’s UCR data on violent crime. Develop a research question and associated hypothesis from these data. What methods can you use with the UCR data? What additional data would be useful in describing violent crime in the United States? Propose a study that examines quantitative and qualitative data to test your hypothesis. What steps would you take to gather data? What are the benefits to using mixed methods to address your research question and test your hypothesis?

6. Program evaluators often use mixed methods in their analyses. Visit the American Evaluation Association website’s blog for evaluators: http://aea365.org/blog/. Search the website using the term “mixed methods”. Review some of the articles on the topic. What suggestions do the evaluators offer? What types of projects use mixed methods? How did they incorporate various methods into their studies? What were some of their lessons learned during their evaluations?