Juveniles, Criminal Justice and Juvenile Death Penalty
Juvenile delinquents should receive sufficient placement and intervention programs, which would help them to desist from criminal acts. There is a perception that the placement and intervention programs are usually influenced by race. Therefore, the methodology in this study will focus on determining whether race influences the placement and intervention programs offered to juvenile delinquents.
In this study race will be the independent variable, while the dependent variable will be the intervention program. Race refers to the physical appearance of an individual, while intervention program, in this case, describes actions taken to prevent the juvenile delinquents from returning to criminal acts. According to human behavior theory, human behavior is usually acquired by conditioning. These variables fit within the human behavior theory because juvenile delinquents are likely to acquire the desired behavior through the intervention programs regardless of the race of the juvenile delinquents.
In determining the race, the juvenile delinquents will be categorized into different races, and the size of a given race will be measured through counting the number of the juvenile delinquents. On the other hand, the measurement of the intervention program will focus on the adequacy. The adequacy of the program will depend on whether it is capable of transforming the behavior of the juvenile delinquents and making them turn away from the criminal behaviour. When an intervention plan can sufficiently change the juvenile delinquent in leaving criminal acts, it is considered adequate; hence, it is regarded asinadequate if it cannot sufficiently change the juvenile delinquent behaviour. Using counting as a measure is beneficial as it will be easy to count and record the numbers due to the small sample size. However, the adequacy method will have a limitation, as by observing the sample it will not be easy to tell which intervention program is more sufficient. The demographic data that will be collected will comprise the intervention program, the age, and the race of the juvenile delinquents.
In establishing whether race influences the intervention program, cohort research design will be used. This research design will be capable of going back in time to include cohorts and follow them to the present. Since the study will focus on the human behavior over a period time, in order to establish the adequacy of the intervention program the retrospective cohort study will be used. Other research designs, such as the true experiment,cannot be used in the study, since they entail the use of control groups and this study will not involve control groups. One group pre-test is not suitable for this study either because it requires more structure. In addition, the cohort study will be used because it allows the observation of the outcomes of different intervention programs, which is crucial in this study.
Participants / Sampling
The desired demographic characteristics of the participants will include juvenile delinquents between 14 and 16 years old. Juvenile delinquents of about 14-16 will be suitable because they will have attained an age that is considered good for changing their criminal actions. Juvenile delinquents who are 8-10 years oldmay not respond accordingly to different intervention programs due to their age, hence, they will not be used in this study Another desired demographic characteristic of the participants is different races. Since the study desires to determine whether race has an influence on the intervention programs to the juvenile delinquents, it will be necessary to consider juvenile delinquents from different races.
In every research study it is important to decide on the number of participants to be used in order to complete the research within a planned time frame. A large sample size prolongs the time of a research conduct and analysis; however, a small number of participants ensures that a research study takes a short time to collect and analyze data. The number of participants to be included in the research study will be 21. It is a justifiable number because it will enable swift collection and analysis of data that will not go beyond the determined timeframes.
The participants of this study will be comprised of those juvenile delinquents, who have received a placement in intervention programs at least once. This will help in collecting the required information. Each participantwill present the detailed information about himself and will be required to answer some questions, which will determine whether the participant should be considered for the study, or not. For instance, the participating delinquents that have not attained the preferred age will not be interrogated to obtain the required information. Besides, juvenile delinquents that have not been enrolled in any intervention program yet will not be considered for participation. Since the age matters in this research, there will be a need in obtaining participants that are between the age of 14-16. Therefore,the staff collecting information will clearly state in their recruitment that only those who are within the specified age should participate.
Because a random sample is preferred for this research study, the participants will be collected from three reform schools, which will also be randomly selected. This will ensure that the research is not skewed towards a certain conclusion. In order to obtain a sampling frame, the research study will focus on participants from three vast recognized reform schools. The reform schools will be informed regarding the issue of collecting data in order to help research staff in identifying the target group. This will be easy since in most reform schools juvenile delinquents are categorized according to age. The procedure of selecting the participants from the sampling frame will be such that every reform school out of the three selected will provide seven participants. This means that the total number of participants from all the three reform schools will amount to 21. In this selection procedure all the three reform schools will provide the participants through random selection. Besides, the procedure will help in producing unbiased results, as the participants will be randomly selected.
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Protecting Participants From Harm
It is crucial to protect participants from harm whenever they engage in a research study. Failure to have protection creates fear among the participants about giving out information, while their information is crucial in facilitating a research. Therefore, it is always fundamental to provide participants with adequate security. The level of security that this study presents for participants is medium, since the data revealed by the participants will constitute critical information that can put reform schools at risk depending on the outcome of the research. For instance, in case the outcome of the research shows that race influences the intervention programs, the reform schools may blame the participants for giving out information that led to such an outcome. Therefore, the provision of security to the participants is a key concern. Maintenance of participants’ privacy is vital to the success of this study. To ensure that the privacy of participants is guaranteed, the information provided by the participants will be accessed only by the staff members concerned with the collection and the analysis of data.
In order to ensure privacy of the information, real names of the participants will not be mentioned. The use of actual names of the participants is risky because the information provided by a particular participant can be easily accessed and leaked out. This poses a security threat to the participants. However, with the substitution of the real names of the participants it will not be easy to identify or associate certain information with a certain participant. Besides, the security of the participants can also be enhanced during data collection by ensuring that the information does not leak out to any individuals, such as the administrators and fellow juvenile delinquents in the reform schools. The security can be enhanced during the collection of data by providing physical security , where the participants provide information in confidential rooms. In addition, there will be the use of the consent forms, which are critical in guaranteeing security for any information provided by the juvenile delinquents. This implies that the juvenile delinquents involved in the research study will have ample security.
In order to ensure privacy of the information provided by the participants, the consent forms will be stored in a locked file cabinet. This is crucial because only the approved individuals will have access to the information provided by the participants; thus, ensuring confidentiality of the data provided by the participants. Furthermore, it will be important to use sealed envelopes while storing consent forms which will enable to discoverthe possible attempts to tamper the consent forms by unauthorized individuals. In order to ensure that the information provided is not associated with particular participants, it will be vital to use code names. This will ensure that unauthorized persons do not associate certain individuals with particular information.
The procedure involved in ensuring informed consent entails giving subjects sufficient information regarding the study and responding to all their questions. This will enable them to share information willingly. It is only after their agreement to volunteer information that the consent forms will be signed.