Research Proposal Essay

Published: 2018-06-06 04:01:51
2535 words
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University of Richmond
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Research Objective

In an effort to try and enforce law and order while preventing crimes, it is important to design, implement, measure and evaluate a problem-oriented policing crime reduction program in Miami, FL. The research would look at various ways which may be used to reduce the crimes. 

Literature Review

Problem-oriented policing is a strategy aimed towards identifying a crime and various social disorders, then developing strategies that may reduce or eliminate the same. Coined by Herman Goldstein, this definition arose from the increased use of police force in dealing with certain scenarios within the neighborhoods and other metropolitan communities. This term effectively replaces the present standard for policing, which is often reactive and dependent on incidents, whether non-violent or violent (Eck & Spelman, 2016). 

Miami (Fl) is a tourist destination, and as is expected, criminals take advantage of the seasonal increased numbers to carry out their activities. The Center for problem-oriented policing outlines the possible crimes that are likely to be committed. This guide is available for both locals and tourists. It also reviews the factors that may contribute to an individual being the target of a crime. Pick-pocketing, organized crime and financial schemes are at the top of the list. The perpetrators take advantage of the tourist’s natural curiosity to drag them into something from which they are unable to escape (Altindag, 2014).

According to research carried out by Gill, Weisburd, Telep, Vitter and Bennet, a problem-oriented form of policing helps in reducing crime and disorder within the community. The presence of structures that are proposed by the members is useful in allowing for the identification of problems and what needs to be done to eliminate them (2014). This research was based on first-hand information and other supplementary material. 

This policing encourages the community members to report crimes and their respective times of occurrence. Crawford and Evans evaluate the emergence of certain preventive measures and whether they have a historical backing. They also identify the evolution of crime and whether the current forms are worse than what was initially experienced. It is possible to establish preventive partnerships with the several stakeholders, as is reiterated in the paper (2016). It is not enough to conceptualize an existing problem; efforts are required to include the reduction efforts into the institutions within the community. 

Crime-Prevention Activities

All crime-prevention activities are geared towards making the community safer. However, it is probable that this information may reach unintended persons, causing greater damage. The issues surrounding this problem cannot be ignored because they have a far-reaching impact on all segments of society. Crawford and Evans further reiterate that a problem-oriented policing must go through the conceptualization, take-up, and introduction of a defensive mentality. It is impossible to engage in policing when the members’ safety is unguaranteed. 

The conclusion of problem-oriented policing is that it requires the participation of all stakeholders for efficiency. Methods used by the police are underhanded and in most cases tend to target even the innocent. Policing requires that the community members own this project, making it easier to stop intended criminal activities. The underlying factor, in this case, is the presence, and absence, of tourists. However, when the problem is identified, solutions are developed around it (Montolio & Planells-Struse, 2016).

Research has been carried to determine how to prevent crimes by an environmental design. They argue that individuals break the law depending on the type of situation they are in. If their surrounding encourages heinous behavior, they will tend to lean towards that direction. The media has a role in creating criminal masterminds. Surette argues that in a culture that promotes the breaking of law, it is likely that the same will occur in an actual society. Mainstream media portrays them as being wealthy with numerous resources at their disposal while the hardworking persons are depicted as living under poor conditions (2014). 

The basics for research and evaluation in criminal justice are that there are a perpetrator and a victim, who may be willing or coerced. The justice system is flawed, with most of its tenets remaining unchanged since independence. The United States has developed, but negative racism and profiling still form a fabric of the existing culture. Individuals are brought up with stereotypes which they later express when they join law enforcement. Maxfield reiterates that policy and practice are part of the solution in making criminal justice more fluid and effective (2015). 

Criminal Justice System

The criminal justice system is effective as long as its three parts are working together to prevent actual crimes and apprehend wrongdoers. Law enforcement, adjudication, and correction only serve their purpose if the offender is guilty and willing. However, sometimes law enforcement brings in the wrong people who are then forced to go through correctional facilities. When they come out, they decide to engage in activities that are punishable by law. Florida State has eighty-two attorneys, who are overworked, thirty-two of whom have the mandate to preside over large-scale criminal proceedings. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida approximates that it costs $2.3 billion to run prisons. In any year, this number stands at 100000 people. This means that the ratio of incarcerated persons to those outside is 1:104. Further, out of 54 Miami residents, one is under supervision by the just supervision. This makes Florida the ninth state in the list of highest incarcerations. This situation has been created by a system that prefers punishment over reformation. Florida also enforces minimum sentences, which could be worked out in parole. The implication is that a convicted felon and a pick-pocket are likely to end up in the same cell in prison (ACLU-Fl, 2016). 

The main problem of the justice system is that it does not include parole in its sentences. Often, this is given when an individual has spent so much time in prison that integration into society becomes a challenge. The system purports to encourage the development of young people and their potential in becoming better. However the same system subjects the young people convicted of crimes to the same system used for adults. While it is true that crimes are punishable by law, a distinction should be made between them. 

Cases of race profiling are rife in the system, with certain members deemed more likely to commit certain crimes than others. While the states boast of equality in all opportunities and circumstances, it is true that the race problem will feature in these cases. Inadvertently, the same theory is applied during arrests and court hearings. As of 2009, the percentage of black males incarcerated was higher than that of white males. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that black incarcerations had reduced to approximately four percent of the population, but this alone affects people’s perception towards certain races. 

Problems In the Society

It is, therefore, sufficient to state that while the criminal justice is flawed, racial profiling makes it less effective. The number of individuals incarcerated has to decline for the correctional system to be effective. Juvenile detentions need an overhaul because placing children who have committed capital offenses with the other ones only creates a new breed of criminals. An enforcement of crime reduction requires the force of the law, which in itself requires being changed. To date, African-American and Latino offenders are handed greater punishments than the remainder of the population. This culture dates back to the ages of slavery and the post- independence world. There is the perception that Caucasian and Asian people are smarter and less likely to commit blue collar crimes, making it difficult to sentence them. However, even those accused of sexual offenses and burglary still receive lighter punishments. The Death Penalty Information Center also records those white defendants who kill black people are less likely to receive the death sentence as compared to black defendants who kill white people.

The above are pointers to the existent problems in the society when it comes to criminal justice and crime prevention. The main factors that contribute towards crimes are poverty and the unequal distribution of resources, though, for some, crime is inherited like property. The purpose of research and evaluation is to identify the existing problems in the society and with the current justice system and its respective arms. Until the research statements can be acted upon, they remain to be theories. Researchers need to focus on suggesting solutions, instead of talking about existing problems for years on end. 

Crime is likely to increase if the law is not changed to make everyone equal. Stating equality rights while abandoning some of them in the event of an offense constitutes an injustice on the part of the aggrieved. Problem-oriented policing involves the entire community, which has its aspects of racists, supremacists, and other elements. Acting upon dispatched information requires law enforcement officers to exercise fair judgment. The problem in Miami involves trafficking and armed robberies, and efforts should be made to bring the members of such gangs to justice. Petty crimes such as pick-pocketing are avoidable on individual levels. Wherever possible, private companies may be enlisted to participate in policing, especially in gated communities. Other areas have a more reliable source of intelligence, in the form of older citizens. 

Research Questions

1. What are the most common crimes and social disorders you experience in Miami FL?

2. Do you report crimes to the relevant organs and what were the results?

3. Are the three parts of the criminal justice system effective in working together to prevent actual crimes and apprehend wrongdoers? 

4. What are some of the changes that need to be adopted in the criminal justice system to improve its competence?

Subject of the study

Miami FL is one of the largest cities in America having both local and tourists. Additionally, it is a metropolitan society as it has people from different ethnicity, race, countries, and religion. As a tourist destination, criminals take advantage of the seasonal increased numbers to carry out their activities. Among the crimes experienced include pick-pocketing, organized crime and financial schemes among others. The tourist is the major subject as the perpetrators take advantage of their natural curiosity to drag them into something from which they are unable to escape. Some streets are also prone to various crimes such as mugging and robberies. Cases of race profiling, especially to blacks and Latinos, are rife in the system. These groups have become subjects of system crime as they are deemed more likely to commit certain crimes than others and therefore vital for this study.

Women are subject to various crime. For instance, several cases of rape crime have been reported. Purse snatching and violent robbing are other crime women face especially when they are alone or use areas prone to these crimes. People from parties when drunk are also subject to this crime. These individuals will be singled out for the study. The law enforcement  including the police, correction team in prisons and judiciary and will be subject to this study. They include a group of people who put strategies and changes to curb crimes in Miami FL. 

Research Measurement

The research process requires measurement that would observe and record the observations collected.  This would be important in understanding the fundamental ideas of primary measurement concepts. There are different types of research measurement in a social study such as scaling, qualitative research and on the obstructive measure. However, this study would use survey research by designing and implementing interviews and questionnaire.  A survey is important as it make sure that the respondent makes independent reply and can also be administered far away from the researcher using emails and other online platforms

Data collection method

Data Collection is an important aspect of any research study because it determines if the result of the study would be valid or not. As it is a quantitative research, it would require a quantitative data collection method. A random sampling would be identified from Miami FL and structured data collection instruments including a survey applied. The research is to understand the crime and social disorder in Miami FL and would be used to estimate the size of this phenomenon.   

The questionnaire would be applied to participants randomly who would be identified using probability sampling. Surveys if fit in gathering a large amount of data such as in the city of Miami FL and would provide a broad perspective. The questionnaires may be administered by telephone, electronically, face to face or by mail. Electronic and mail conducted surveys reach wide are, are relatively cheap to distribute, information would be standardized while maintaining privacy. This is well fit for Miami FL where the large group is literate and do not follow any observation as a diverse society. The survey may use scaled, open-ended, closed or multiple choice questionnaire. 

Research analysis

The frequency distribution is the best method to use in this study as it is simple data analysis technique and allows the researcher to understand the research outcome better. From this method, using frequency distribution; one can know how frequent the particular values were observed and what their percentages are for the same variable. For instance, it can identify the number of times tourists were attacked or how offenders were re-arrested in Miami FL for committing the crime. It can be used with the histogram in Excel to understand frequency distribution. On the other hand, the frequency distribution would be used to figure out the frequency of the values observed. Measures of the dispersion including standard deviation and range and central tendency including mean, median and mode would be used to learn more about the differences recorded in the data.  


The study would be carried out for one month from August 1 to September 2 which would be enough to reach all the projected subject of the research. If the time were not enough because of any unforeseen circumstance, one week would be added which cannot be extended any further. The analysis would be carried out one week after the data has been compiled together.


The study would take one month

Food and Accommodation $1200

Transport $120

Allowances $100

Travel insurance $145

Transcriptions $1300

Access fee $50

Research Assistant $2000

Overheads $500

Totals $4335


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American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (March 2016). The Florida Campaign for Criminal

Justice Reform Launches in Advance of Legislative Session, Criminal Justice

Crawford, T. A. M., & Evans, K. (2016). Crime prevention and community safety

Death Penalty Information Center. National Statistics on the Death Penalty and Race, Death

Row Inmates since 1976

D'Orsogna, M. R., & Perc, M. (2015). Statistical physics of crime: A review. Physics of life

reviews, 12, 1-21.

Eck, J., & Spelman, W. (2016). Problem oriented policing. Washington, DC.

Gill, C., Weisburd, D., Telep, C. W., Vitter, Z., & Bennett, T. (2014). Community-oriented

policing to reduce crime, disorder and fear and increase satisfaction and legitimacy

among citizens: a systematic review. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 10(4), 399-


Iverson, S. V., & Jaggers, D. (2015). Racial profiling as institutional practice: Theorizing the

experiences of black male undergraduates. Journal of Student Affairs Research and

Practice, 52(1), 38-49

Maxfield, M. G. (2015). Basics of research methods for criminal justice and criminology.

Cengage Learning

Montolio, D., & Planells-Struse, S. (2016). Does tourism boost criminal activity? Evidence from

a top touristic country. Crime & Delinquency, 62(12), 1597-1623

Surette, R. (2014). Media, crime, and criminal justice. Nelson Education


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