commenting on two classmates discussions on Debating Research and Practice

Classmate # 1 Russell

I could not choose one or the other. I believe both are true and go hand in hand: practice drives research and research drives practice and the pattern continues. For instance, departments have practices, policies and procedures in effect based on laws and perhaps previous incidences. When a practice, policy or procedure does not appear to be effective any longer or perhaps litigation arises out of those ineffective practices, policies and procedures then there is a push to look at research. Looking at research is then utilized to improve and support any changes that may be needed.

In recent years, there has been an outcry for evidence based practice in the criminal justice system to guide decision making and practices in an effort to “better” police as well as in sentencing, crime and recidivism. Not everyone buys into and believes that everything that is done should be based on research alone. This is especially true when you have a researcher who might not have law enforcement experience; this tends to leave officers wondering how data was gathered when one doesn’t have an idea of exactly what officers deal with on a daily basis. It could be suggested that the officers who “practice” and have experience would be helpful in research studies that are conducted (Telep, n.d.). For example, police officers “practice”; attorney’s “practice”; even with regards to medicine where doctors and nurses “practice”; research that is evidence-based and applicable to those practices is important to support change. So to argue that research drives practice OR practice drives research is inarguable as both seem to work together and rely on one another for the best outcomes.

Telep, C. W. (n.d.). Police Officer Receptivity to Research and Evidence-Based Policing: Examining Variability Within and Across Agencies. CRIME & DELINQUENCY, 63(8), 976–999.…

Classmate # 2 Abbie

Hello everybody –

For the purpose of this discussion, I have chosen to be on the “practice drives research” side.

The research that I conducted for the final project of this class was focused on recidivism. From what I learned through my research, there is a lot of discussion concerned with way to reduce the rate of recidivism in today’s society, but one of the top ways is by offering a chance of higher education to those incarcerated. Since there is a high rate of recidivism, it is a high focus point of criminal justice because of the large amount of individuals recidivating after their sentences. With that being said, since there is a high rate of recidivism in the country today, there have been many studies conducted involving ways to reduce recidivism; hence supporting practice drives research.

Other contemporary issues contribute to the basics of research and fuel the research process. Without contemporary issues taking place, there would a smaller amount of supporting details that come from studies and research conducting revolving around said issues. Another example would focusing on the events of the Michael Brown case and understanding the effects that the results of the case had on future police work. There is more fear of police brutality and gun violence concerning police officers than there was before this case and similar cases are only contributing to that. Studying the case allows for criminal justice employees/researchers to look further into the issues of the case and develop possible solutions to help prevent similar situations from happening ever again.

Research is important to the criminal justice profession and I truly think that practice drives research and that is why the criminal justice profession has evolved so much, especially recently.

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