Over the past several years, police misconduct on racial minorities has been an exclusive topic across the United States. However, the police force has made tremendous changes that are meant to change its image in the public’s eyes. Progress has been made with more members of ethnic minorities being recruited in the police force. The United States has a solid legal structure that proves that equal representation in the police officer is essential. Connections with societies are better, with neighborhood policing playing an important role. However, there is a long way to go to ensure equal representation of races in the police force. The police force has to offer services that serve the interests of all communities. The way the force carries out its day-to-day activities internally has to support equality as far as race is concerned. Every police officer requires to have the opportunity of developing and making progress towards ensuring better policing. We must not stop on the journey needed to move further and step up a gear with new approaches and thinking. Implementing a fight against hate crime is an appropriate illustration of where significant progress has been made. On the other hand, there is more to be done explicitly concerning ethnic minorities in society. Hate crime has a potent effect on the individual, but the fear that comes with it quickly spreads to affect society in due course. It is important to note that the more a police force knows what its communities require, the more it will implement better policing. African-Americans are more likely to be treated with excessive force or arrested by police officers than their white counterparts; we can solve this issue by ensuring equal representation of races in the police force.
Although the number of ethnic minority law enforcement officers has increased in America, there is a lot to be done if the police force across the nation is to replicate and thoroughly appreciate the societies they work for ultimately. The issue is predominantly severe at the senior ranks in the force. Out of 220 police officers in the upper leadership, only three of them are from ethnic minorities (Miller & Vittrup, 2020). The administration of the police force is viewed differently from the public’s eye. The roles of police staff, including the rank of a chief officer, are open to new entrants from outside the service, and the police force benefits significantly from the viewpoints that the new entrants bring. However, at the moment, one has to join as a constable to become a police officer. Just one career path for law enforcement officers means that the range of viewpoints is limited. In the roles of senior officers in the United States, we require people with operational experience and skills to make high-risk decisions, attract the confidence of the public, and command police officers. But suppose a new entrant from outside the police force will be able to provide something different. In that case, chief officers and police reformers should consider new ways of creating operational skills they require, incorporating more efficient rapid-tracking of talent.
The United States has been ranked as the most racially diverse democratic country across the globe. However, its gains as far as economic prosperity is concerned are not uniformly shared since some communities have been marginalized throughout the nation’s history. One fundamental feature of the marginalization mentioned above is the disparate treatment of people of color across the police force. Racial disparity brings about public mistrust of the police force, which slows Americans’ ability to promote public safety (Mullinix et al., 2021). Many police officers are aware of the issue of racial disparity and would be willing to counteract it. As Americans, we readily acknowledge that racial inequality in the police force is symptomatic of problems facing society generally but maintain that some strategies can be developed to reduce disparity at the end of the day. Addressing the issue of racial inequality in the police force is entirely aligned with the commitment to a fair system of justice and public safety. If chief officers and police reformers can successfully ensure equal representation of races in the police force, policing will gain significant credibility and serve a more efficient part in preventing and responding to criminal activities.
Racial disparity in the police force exists when the proportion of a racial group in the control of law enforcement agencies is more significant than the proportion of such groups when it comes to the entire population. The causes of the disparities mentioned above are diverse and incorporate decision-making in policing, legislative policies, policing emphasis on specific communities, and varying crime levels. Research by Siegel (2020) has revealed that racial inequality in the police force results from the different treatment of similarly located persons on a racial basis. In certain circumstances, racial disparity in the police force may involve evident racial bias. In contrast, it might reflect the influence of aspects that are just indirectly related to race in others. Furthermore, in some instances, disparity results from the unguarded, institution- or individual-level decisions based on race. Structural racism resulting from the long-lasting differential treatment of people with features considerably connected with race (e.g., poverty) can aggravate or cause racial disparity too.
Racial inequality in the police force is created at each stage of policing continuum, from arrest to being arraigned in a court of law instead of the result of the actions at any single step. To address the issue of racial inequality in the service, strategies are required to address the issue at every stage of policing, and this has to be done in a coordinated manner. Without addressing the problem systematically, gains in certain areas might be offset by reversals in others. Each element and decision point of the police force needs unique tactics depending on the magnitude of disparity and the particular populations affected by that element’s dealings. System comprehensive transformation is not possible without informed top police officers who are not just willing but also able to commit agency and their resources to measuring and addressing the issue of racial disparity at every stage of policing, and consequently for the policing as a whole.
Statistics at the national and community level reveal the cumulative effect of racial disparity through each decision point in the police service. Decisions that are made at one stage contribute to increasing differences at the stages that follow. For instance, if bail practices lead to minorities ending up being detained before even being made to pass through the trial process at higher rates than similarly located whites, there are higher chances that they will equally be disadvantaged not just at trial but also sentence by having little or no access to treatment options, community resources, and defense counsel. The unequal representation in the police force challenges the fundamental values upon which the policing rests. To the magnitude that the disparity mentioned above has been brought by issues that are closely related to racism (in other words, discrimination that is ultimately on a racial basis), it represents an absolute refusal of the principle of better policing. A commitment to public safety, fairness, and justice values force professionals to address disparate treatment significantly when and where it rests. A sense that policing across the United States is fair is essential as far as the functioning of a democratic nation is concerned. As a result, there must be a connection between personal and societal values: a commitment to due procedure and fairness is an outright personal and societal dictum. Failure to have the obligation mentioned above will erode the confidence in the rule of law.
For instance, because police officers are the gatekeepers to policing, fundamental suspicion and mistrust of law enforcers destroys the partnership of the community and policing at the most direct contact point when it comes to the police service and the community. Therefore, proactive strategies to creating trust between communities and law enforcers are essential. Police officers have to publicly communicate their acknowledgment that racially imbalanced policing will negatively affect households, societies, and the nation at large (Meng, 2017). For a democratic government to carry out its day-to-day activities efficiently, communities must support law enforcement agencies as an essential ingredient for good policing. On the other hand, law enforcers have to work in a very public and organized manner to instill that trust. In the same way, the commitment and willingness of the civilians to respect and understand the policing procedure are greatly dependent on a sense that the police force demonstrates societal values at the end of the day. In the recent past, police have often served as a pivotal point for society’s frustration on the racial issues in the larger community. As a result, it is significantly essential that illegitimate or unwarranted racial disparities are looked at not just publicly but also aggressively. The user of the research at hand will note that it talks about racial inequalities that theoretically do not include ethnic minorities who are also subjected to differential treatment when it comes to policing in the United States. Unfortunately, the police service information rarely disentangles ethnicity from race. For that reason, we are aware of relatively little regarding what ethnic minorities experience in the hands of police officers. In the recent past, the data deficiencies mentioned above have been somewhat addressed. Edwards et al. (2019) have revealed increasing amounts of data on the involvement of Latino in policing. Still, much less is documented on the Native Americans and Asian-Americans, although there are pockets of data for the populations mentioned above. Where it is possible, we incorporate these findings in the report at hand. Generally, some of the discriminations that are subjected to African-Americans as far as policing is concerned are similar to those experienced by various ethnic groups but not necessarily all of them.
Research by Cunningham & Gillezeau (2018, May) has revealed that racial inequalities might result from decision-making in the police service. They also suggest that steps that chief officers and police reformers can take to counter those impacts. The decision mentioned above offers a chance for the concerned parties to ensure that people of color are treated fairly by police officers. On the other hand, it is essential to recognize that the police service operates in a more significant political and social context that affects its operation and the position of racial minorities when it comes to policing. Police office professionals are capable of addressing the issue of racial inequality in several ways: since they are mostly picked from outside the police force, they can seek to influence the political procedure; as professionals in the service, they can work for systematic transformation; and as decision-makers in the police force, the can exercise discretion to ultimately counterbalance the effect of racial inequality, whether it is as a result of a larger political or social context or previous decisions in the police service. Therefore, chief officers, police reformers, and other involved parties will come across an awareness of the broader social context beneficial in coming up with strategies of ensuring that the decisions made in the police force help reduce racial disparity in due course.
Correlates and causes of racial inequality in the police service are manifold. Some of the broader systematic causes and social causes of the issue that have been pinpointed include overt racial bias, legislative decisions, inequality to access resources, and higher crime rates. Because many criminal activities go unreported to the law enforcement agencies, it is complex to conclude race concerning the offender. According to Bury et al. (2018), the most reliable available information is arrest statistics that are provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Report (UCR). However, the figure provided do not include those who were offended but were not arrested.
Chief Officers, police reformers, and other involved parties in the police service have the accountability to evaluate and eliminate unwarranted racial inequality. A comprehensive and systematic approach is essential if we have to ensure racial equality in the police force. Angus & Crichlow (2018) assert that most decision points in the law enforcement agencies reflect actions and inputs from various actors in the service. This implies that the service requires a coordinated response when it comes to policing. The reply mentioned above should pay special attention to the effect of decisions related to racial inequality. On top of that, since the outcome of cases relies on various figures in the service, progress in one area can be counteracted easily by decisions made in another area. For example, policing efforts meant to reduce the use of racial profiling might be obstructed by a mayoral prioritizing of suppressing the problem of drugs via mass arrests; the actions of suppressions at many times imply arrests in minorities. Early coordination between the mayor’s office and the law enforcement agencies in the above example may serve to ensure that both are working in a direction that will not favor any group.
As a proactive approach, policymakers, both at state and national levels, should ensure that the recruitment of police officers across the country is equal and fair among all communities. Such measures will help the police service eliminate racial discrimination as far as policing is concerned (Afful, 2018). On top of that, the police force will gain trust from the community, which will help the law enforcement agencies reduce crimes at the end of the day. In other words, the community will feel free to report criminal activities, thus promoting community policing. Therefore, it is right to say that such measures will not just help eliminate racial discrimination but also help fight crime in the United States.
Race-based discrepancies in personal treatment are among the most challenging issues in the United States today, and these are especially apparent in the policing arena. Racial inequality in the police force is extensive, and its perpetuation threatens to challenge the principle that the police force is fair, just, and effective. If the police force is to be seen in the public eye as appropriate, it requires support and public cooperation. The existence of the viewpoint racial inequalities reduces public confidence in the police force, which will put the safety of the people in jeopardy. Chief Officers and police reformers cannot do away with inequalities from the police service alone. The high rates of minorities involved in the police force show a complex set of community, economic, and social issues; in numerous aspects, minority overrepresentation in the service is a result of disparate treatment in areas such as equal access to affordable housing, sustainable income, jobs, and education. Chief Officers and police reformers may see themselves as not being better positioned to address racial inequality over which they have little control. We hope the research at hand provides possible solutions through developing strategies by which the involved parties can address the issue of racial bias at various points in the police force. We advocate for a holistic, systematic approach that considers the long-term effect of decisions on the racial arrangement of the police service. This should incorporate coordination, public involvement, accountability, leadership, professionally informed discretion, and resources among many participants in the police service.
Additionally, policymakers ought to remain informed and involved about evolving best practices to ensure racial inequality in the police force, which will help eliminate the pattern of discrimination of racial minorities when it comes to policing. On top of that, policymakers can sponsor changes by advocating legislation that provides a feasible solution for racial disparity in the police service. Chief Officers, police reformers, and other involved parties in the policing arena have an obligation of challenging themselves to lead a nationwide debate on the role of the race when it comes to policing. If this can be accomplished by jurisdiction, we can expect to experience better policing and have other organizations follow suit. This would be a significant step as far as addressing the issue of discrimination in the United States is concerned.
Afful, I. (2018). The impact of values, bias, culture, and leadership on BME under-representation in the police service. International Journal of Emergency Services.
Angus, J., & Crichlow, V. (2018). A race and power perspective on police brutality in America. FAU Undergraduate Research Journal, 7, 8-8.
Bury, J., Pullerits, M., Edwards, S., Davies, C., & DeMarco, J. (2018). Enhancing diversity in policing. Report prepared by NatCen Social Research for the National Police Chiefs Council and the Police Transformation Fund.
Cunningham, J. P., & Gillezeau, R. (2018, May). Racial differences in police use of force: Evidence from the 1960s civil disturbances. In AEA Papers and Proceedings (Vol. 108, pp. 217-21).
Edwards, F., Lee, H., & Esposito, M. (2019). Risk of being killed by police use of force in the United States by age, race-ethnicity, and sex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(34), 16793-16798.
Meng, Y. (2017). Profiling minorities: Police stop and search practices in Toronto, Canada. Human Geographies, 11(1).
Miller, C., & Vittrup, B. (2020). The indirect effects of police racial bias on African American families. Journal of Family Issues, 41(10), 1699-1722.
Mullinix, K. J., Bolsen, T., & Norris, R. J. (2021). The feedback effects of controversial police use of force. Political Behavior, 43(2), 881-898.
Siegel, M. (2020). Racial disparities in fatal police shootings: an empirical analysis informed by critical race theory. BUL Rev., 100, 1069.
Racial Profiling And Police Use Of Excessive Force Sample Essay
Racial Profiling is the discriminating act of law enforcement officers targeted on persons for accusations of criminality and wrongdoing based on ethnicity, tribe, or national origin. Racial profiling, in its most blatant expression, entails the monitoring of specific populations or people within a society on the premise that the population as a whole is prone to crime (Edwards et al, 2019). On the other hand, in its more sophisticated form, racial profiling is interpreting evidence through the lens of prejudices. As such, a series of high-profile enforcement issues in recent years have sparked widespread outrage over racial profiling in policing and apparent police use of excessive force. Various recent viral videos and photographs of cops hitting and killing people in suspicious circumstances have sparked a wide range of debates about police brutality.
Possibly the most notable aspect of these debates is the impact that race may have in determining the frequency and intensity with which police use force and profile Individuals based on their race. Indeed, one of the the key consequences of these incidents is the creation of the internet-driven Black Lives Matter (BLM) campaign. Although BLM began as a protest term and a social networking sites hashtag, it has grown into a nationally known activist campaign with a clear aim to raise consciousness and stimulate conversations about obvious racial prejudice in police use of force over the past few years. (Ajilore & Shirey, 2017). This paper addresses the issue of racial profiling and police use of force, its consequences, disparity issues in use of force and recommendations for efficient approaches that can help curb this menace.
Racial profiling is the result of racialized populations’ stereotyping, and it fosters more stereotyping. In this sense, the term “racialized populations” implies that viewing individuals or groups who share (or are thought to share) a shared heritage as distinct and uneven in ways that affect economic, political, and social life is a social construct that is not grounded in reality. As a result of racial profiling, communities are overpoliced, scrutinized aggressively, and misrepresented in the justice system. As such, legislators argue that Racial profiling and violence are both ineffectual as a criminal justice approach and infringe on citizens’ basic civil rights. In addition to compromising fundamental American values, racial profiling’s negative effects surpass its ostensible advantages in all areas where law enforcement or intelligence interacts with society, particularly crime and homeland security situations (Antonovics, & Knight, 2009). In any case, the assumption that crime is pervasive in society or that public safety is under threat does not excuse police officers and intelligence services’ inadequate and unreasonable measures that violate human rights. Ideally, such use of unnecessary force by police is inextricably related to an analysis based on a preconception that the person they are encountering is inherently violent as a result of their racialized status. In light of this, racial profiling infringes a set of fundamental principles and rights under international humanitarian law, including non-discrimination, equality before the law, and equal protection under the law, by allowing law enforcement agencies to intentionally subject persons to differential and inequitable treatment without adequate evidence.
This type of racial profiling can have other adverse consequences in that it has the potential to escalate to the use of unjustified fatal force by police upon individuals from racial minorities. It is ineffective in combating crime and/or extremism as innocent people are wrongfully targeted, arrested, and questioned, while those who are culpable may slip through the cracks due to a lack of thoroughness in investigations and inspections. Victims of racial profiling have their rights to liberty taken away (Antonovics, & Knight, 2009). As a result of being misperceived as a severe threat, they are questioned, examined, imprisoned, subjected to excessive force, kept in custody, and, in the most extreme circumstances, shot, tormented, or murdered. Therefore, racial profiling can lead to not just skewed proportions of law enforcement and detention, but also to incarceration, as it does for civilians. It has the potential to be fatal, leading to the deaths of detainees who were chosen not on the basis of solid police procedure, but on the grounds of racial bias and private bigotry.
Racial bias in police use of force can also have far-reaching adverse consequences that affect persons who aren’t immediately impacted. Racial profiling fosters skepticism of criminal justice and the legal system amongst individuals of racialized communities who have been victimized due to racial profiling, lowering the likelihood of civilian collaboration with legal investigations. (Trahan and Russell, n.d). Usually, people who believe the law is implemented objectively and equitably have greater personal faith in the law’s legitimacy and are more willing to help with police departments. As a result, it’s no surprise that blacks and whites tend to have very different opinions on the criminal justice system; they’ve had very unique experiences with it, and as a result, they don’t share similar opinions about it. For instance, traffic stops are one of the most common experiences that ordinary residents have with police, yet it’s not unusual that pretextual traffic stops would cause blacks to have a different point of view on the system compared to whites (Legewie, 2016).
On the other hand, persons who believe the law is enforced unjustly may become cynical and less likely to feel a personal commitment to collaborate with law enforcement in community policing. Until recently, law enforcement officers focused their efforts on responding to crisis calls. The plan was for police to respond to crime complaints conveyed to them by a remote dispatcher. In essence, such procedures were reactive; the goal was to collect and attend to allegations of offenses perpetrated. However, in recent years, contemporary policing has shifted away from the response model, which was deemed to be overly slow and prone to isolating officers from their work environments and the communities they served and has transformed to community policing. The goal of community policing is for the officers to support and become a part of society rather than to rule or control it. However, because people’s confidence is a necessary for better policing, bad impressions of cops can reduce the willingness of support and collaboration, as well as jeopardize the institution’s general legitimacy.
As challenging as it will be to establish, given the long history of police mistreatment of black people, the society must trust the police to treat them as law-abiding individuals if community policing is to thrive. Using racially disproportionate traffic stops is inherently counterproductive to this objective. Why then should inhabitants of these areas trust the cops if they are treated like criminals each time they go for a drive, even if this is done in the name of catching wrongdoers? Community policing will therefore be rendered much more challenging, if not impossible, if the “driving while black” issue is not resolved (Legewie, 2016). Therefore, apart from the harm that profiling does African-Americans, there is another compelling incentive to modify police practices: it is in the best interests of police agencies to do so- as it fosters community policing.
For many years, police violence has been perpetrated against people of various colors, ethnicities, ages, socioeconomic classes, and genders in the United States. Poor and working-class whites in northern cities, for example, voiced displeasure with biased policing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Later on, following the September 11th attacks on the United States in 2001, Muslim Americans complained bitterly about police violence, particularly intimidation and racial profiling. Many local police enforcement officers began dubious-legal clandestine operations to monitor and infiltrate mosques and other Muslim American organizations in the hopes of uncovering suspected terrorists, a tactic that lasted unregulated for nearly a decade.
However, despite the multitude of groups in the United States who are susceptible to police violence and use of excessive force, research shows that African Americans have historically constituted a large portion of victims. Fast forward to the early twenty-first century, and racial bias in law enforcement continues to reverberate across the nation, drawing considerable interest. For instance, the controversial “stop, question, and frisk” (SQF) program in New York City was welcomed by some as necessary for lowering crime rates, while others criticized it as racially prejudiced and putting a significant burden on impacted individuals and communities. A study by Ajilore and Shirey (2017) investigated whether African Americans are more likely to be subjected to police brutality. Race was shown to play a factor in both the complaints regarding excessive use of force and the adjudication of complaints against police, according to the researchers. Furthermore, the study showed that African American men on Chicago’s south side were less likely to have their claims upheld. This analysis suggests that the African Americans are disproportionately targeted when it comes to police use of force on the assumption that they are more prone to committing crimes. As such, pervasive Antiblack racism amongst members of primarily white police agencies, is a crucial reason explaining the prevalence of police excessive use of force and profiling among members of minority community.
This analysis has shown that racial profiling and the use of force is a prevalent norm in several agencies, whether it stems from specific officers’ behaviors and perceptions or from the racist culture or policy of police departments and institutions. Furthermore, worries about extremism and crime continue to put pressure on law enforcement officers, leading them to use the ineffective racial profiling approach in the name of public safety and security. Despite its purported benefits in promoting public safety, it has been proven that law enforcement organizations’ use of racial profiling and violence violates worldwide legal principles, such as the principle of non-discrimination and the rights to equality before the law and equal protection under the law. Furthermore, evidence suggests that racial profiling and the use of excessive force are ineffective law enforcement tools that should be substituted with more efficient strategies and consequently, racial profiling may have a detrimental influence on the perceptions and well-being of those who are immediately affected and, on the community, at large (Edwards et al, 2019).
The negative consequences associated with racial profiling and use of excessive force necessitates immediate reforms in law enforcement (Peeples, 2020). First, legislators need to recognize that the main underlying issue with American policing is that there is literally too much of it. Since the mid-1970s, there has been a significant growth in investments related to extending the criminal justice system, encompassing personnel and the jobs that police are required to perform. At the same time, we’re seeing a significant reduction in resources allocated to social assistance programs. This argument exemplifies a basic argument advanced by many activists and professionals asking for significant police reform: shifting funds away from the police to better supportive community services such as health care, shelter, and schooling, as well as increased economic and job possibilities. Indeed, increased public support for such policies will lessen the need for policing, resulting in fewer violent confrontations, especially in overpoliced, economically poor, and minority neighborhoods.
In addition, there needs to be a transformation of law enforcement from the ground up. Legislators must reconsider how law enforcement officers are hired. This does not imply that you should hire people who are “less competent.” Rather, it necessitates a shift in perspective about what constitutes a competent police officer. Progress towards a more just and efficient enforcement system can be made by making an effort to attract and hire employees who will better serve the public. Likewise, law enforcement organizations must change the systems that surround them in order to incentivize fair policing and enhance responsibility for all forms of excessive violence, whether racist or not. In certain situations, citizen review panels have been established for the same, however they were rendered worthless when police officers were not present. Mandatory participation at something like a public review panel — made up of regular people — may help local police forces gain much-needed external accountability.
Additionally, law enforcement agencies ought to devise strategies for attracting and retaining a diverse workforce that reflects the populations they serve. Nondiscriminatory law enforcement may be aided by the recruitment and retention of officers from a variety of backgrounds, who are more reflective of the communities they serve. This enhanced representation has the ability to affect agency culture and employee attitudes, resulting in less biased decision-making.
Furthermore, if law enforcements behavior and judgement call are to be successful, law enforcers must be constantly reminded of the backdrop of the communities in which they operate, and they must completely comprehend the laws and rules meant to control their personal conduct. Such efforts should be made at the institutional level and as part of wider reforms that tackle legislation and accountability systems. Personnel in charge of creating internal policies, as well as those in charge of internal accountability and education, should lead the awareness-raising effort. Law enforcement agencies should also be encouraged to implement specific training programs that enhance understanding among officers of the many societal biases that may influence their actions. Such materials should include both international human rights standards and concepts, as well as national laws and rules that regulate officers’ conduct (Peeples, 2020). Such training materials are very important given that it is critical for officers understand the repercussions of their actions, for agencies and justice system follow up on any alleged event, and for them to employ all relevant accountability tools to resolve the underling issue.
Finally, it would be beneficial to establish a federal website that tracks incidents involving excessive force by law enforcers in a straightforward, uniform, and public fashion, including exposure data on demographic characteristics of all victims and officers involved, such as age, gender, ethnic background, and impairment status, among other things; information regarding the events leading up to use of force; place the incident occurred and outcomes of all commensurate disciplinary actions. Alternatively, agents may also be forced to utilize stop-forms each time they do an identification check. These forms should include individual’s demographic details (including racial identity), the purpose and overcome for the check (i.e., whether it resulted in the discovery of a crime). In addition, a duplicate of the form should be given to the person being examined, along with information on how to report police misconduct. This safeguards the rights of the person being checked and enables researchers to assess how disproportionately law enforcement actions affect certain groups, as well as the effectiveness of criminal background checks. This tool could help reduce racial profiling while also increasing police effectiveness: the more agents who are directed by objective standards, the less profiling there will be and the more crimes will be uncovered.
Ajilore, O., & Shirey, S. (2017, May 2). Do #alllivesmatter? an evaluation of race and excessive use of force by police – Atlantic Economic Journal. SpringerLink.
Antonovics, K., & Knight, B. G. (2009). A new look at racial profiling: Evidence from the Boston police department. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 91(1), 163–177
Edwards, F., Lee, H., & Esposito, M. (2019). Risk of being killed by police use of force in the United States by age, race–ethnicity, and sex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(34), 16793-16798.
Legewie, J. (2016). Racial profiling and use of force in police stops: How local events trigger periods of increased discrimination. American journal of sociology, 122(2), 379-424.
Peeples, L. (2020, June 19). What the data say about police brutality and racial bias – and which reforms might work. Nature News.
Trahan, A., & Russell, J. (n.d.). Race and police use of force: A Regression Analysis of Varying Situational Approval From 1972 TO 2012
Qualitative Versus Quantitative Research Methods Sample College Essay
Carrying out high-quality studies is an essential component of the design and assessment of criminal justice. Additionally, it is a crucial way of improving a practitioner’s information requirements. However, conducting criminal justice research can be excellent for a practitioner who has some previous experience. Research can be accomplished by a methodology that is quantitative, qualitative or a combination of two. Qualitative methodology creates numbers for analysis and offers an organized impression of criminal justice and comparisons across big groups of persons. In qualitative methods, statistical ways are employed to evaluate things shown with charts or graphs objectively. Outcomes from the methodology mentioned above are frequently explained as being “generalizable” across groups of persons (e.g., judges, offenders, or inmates)or phenomena (e.g., drug use, corruption, or assault) or across time. The outcomes may be utilized to generalize ideas wildly, forecast outcomes, and investigate causal relationships.
On the other hand, the qualitative methodology offers insights into various factors of social life and creates words as information for analysis. In qualitative methods, attention is paid to people’s experiences, perceptions, and feelings to examine and understand the meaning people or groups ascribe to a human or social issue. Researchers concerned with looking at a point or topic in detail can employ qualitative methodology, particularly when the viewpoint of some group of persons cannot be experienced or understood by using a desk study or statistical analysis study.
Qualitative methodology is a superior means of carrying out meaningful studies in criminal justice. The many advantages of qualitative methods offer a depth of understanding criminal justice and processing beyond that provided by statistical, detached analyses (Lynch et al., 2017). Due to the differences in the information, how information is gathered and analyzed, and what the comments and input can explain to us about criminal justice, the knowledge increased through qualitative research is richer, informative, and provides improved indulgences compared to the one that can be gained through quantitative analysis. The superiority of qualitative study ascends from the essential differences in quantitative and qualitative research and what they can add to bodies of knowledge. At the core, qualitative methodology pays attention to the traits, meanings, and defining features of experience, cultures/settings, interactions, people, and events. As one most crucial exponent of qualitative research has described, quality refers to the where, when, how, and what of a thing – its ambiance and essence. As a result, qualitative methodology relates to the descriptions, symbols, metaphors, characteristics, definitions, concepts, and meanings. Notice that what is missing from the purpose mentioned above is the quantity or amount of whatever is being researched; the numerical descriptions or number of things and their connections is not the concentration of qualitative methodology; that is the concentration of the quantitative methodology.
Hammersley (2018) asserts that quantitative methodology is usually considered the more scientific method of carrying out social science. The concentration is on employing particular definitions and carefully operationalizing what specific variables and ideas mean. The qualitative methodology focuses on interpreting and presenting users with complete views looking at environmental immersions and a magnitude of understanding of ideas. In simple terms, qualitative research is about obtaining accurate accounts of the social factors of how crime takes place and how the processes, structures, and agents of responding to a crime operate in culturally-based settings. The qualitative methodology offers a detailed understanding of issues that is not possible via quantitative methodology (Copes et al., 2020). Qualitative methodology is the approach that does not just centralize but also places fundamental value on complete understandings and how individuals (the social factor of our context) operate, experience, and understand in milieus that are dynamic and social in their structure and foundation. This does not imply that all social scientists value and recognize qualitative methodology, nor do all social scientists believe that qualitative methodology is superior to quantitative methodology or even contributes to inaugurating a body of knowledge (Bullock et al., 2017). For many researchers and scholars of criminal justice, qualitative methodology is inferior to what can be gained from quantitative methodology. It offers only non-scientific, anecdotal examples of marginally valuable and exciting understandings.
It is important to note that the qualitative research method is not just the “feeble” stepchild of a scientific society in the eyes of most scholars in criminal justice but is also statistically the unique method behind published scholarship in criminal justice. Most researchers in criminal justice assert that qualitative methodology is the dominion of pseudo-science and offers low value for looking at how crime and societal reactions to crime come to light. As Bergin (2017) admits, the rising popularity of quantitative methodology has been faced with resistance from some scholars and researchers. Some people believe that the incapability to numerically evaluate and measure many of the essential procedures and concepts necessary in criminal justice will prove misleading information concerning the validity of those concepts. When faced with operationalizing considerably abstract theoretical ideas, scholars and researchers can only evaluate observable proxies for the opinions of interest. These proxies might not have the capacity to capture the entire essence of the central concept.
In summing up, we have seen that quantitative methodology is the line dancing research method to science. Anyone and everyone can do it, and all that appears to matter is that you get the steps correctly. If you get the steps right and are in the correct order, you will obtain a product. It may be rough, have good links between the look or actions executed. On the other hand, qualitative methodology is the interpretive, ballet-like dance research method to science. While steps are to be followed, producing an emotionally infused, well-linked, the smooth product is more significant. The qualitative methodology does not depend on the mechanical accuracy of the steps being followed but instead pays attention to how the general product communicates a message and moves individuals intellectually and emotionally. The qualitative methodology may help assess theory and test whether the theory holds up under a diversity of instances and circumstances. However, qualitative methodology and understandings offer researchers and scholars the insights to conceptualize problems and issues differently, thus offering the building blocks and foundation for theoretical refinements, advancements, and initiations. The above point is even conceded and acknowledged by defenders of quantitative methodology. In representativeness, theory creation is a greatly qualitative endeavor. Qualitative researchers fundamentally create and advance theories. In other words, while quantitative methodology certainly does provide some understandings and information on criminal justice, the qualitative methodology offers more meaningful and detailed insights.
Bergin, T. (2018). An introduction to data analysis: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. Sage.
Bullock, R., Little, M., & Millham, S. (2017). The relationships between quantitative and qualitative approaches in social policy research. In Mixing methods: qualitative and quantitative research (pp. 81-99). Routledge.
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