Stratified sampling will allow the research team to take these prejudices into account when examining the data so as to avoid any skewing resulting from prejudices.
The potential population in this study is clearly defined. Although the effect of the three strike rule on the general public cannot be completely disregarded, it is more likely that the general public is more greatly affected by generalized criminal statutes to govern their behavior than the possibility that they may be subject to eventual three strike rule enforcement. As already pointed out, random interviews will be conducted with prosecutors, defense counsel, judges, probation officials, jail and prison personnel, and incarcerated and previously incarcerated criminals.
The location of all interviews will be in sites as neutral as possible. This is particularly important in the interviews of the convicted criminals. Said interviews must be afforded every opportunity to feel comfortable and free of any potential form of intimidation. Earnest responses are a necessity. Those incarcerated or facing the likelihood of future incarceration are sensitive to the fact that their responses may be used to their disadvantage and might fail to answer as honestly as is necessary to insure statistical accuracy.
Problems might be anticipated relative to interviewing of the incarcerated individuals. Security is a prime consideration especially in the case of repeat offenders. Careful consideration must be afforded the concerns of prison officials in allowing these interviews while still doing everything possible to make sure that the interviewees are comfortable so that they will be more likely to be forthright in their answers.
The interviewing technique utilized with all applicable groups must be carefully chosen so as to make all interviewees comfortable. Suspicions as to the use of all information will be raised. All interview groups will be suspicious of the prejudices and orientation of the interviewer and the interview technique used by all interviewers must be carefully chosen.
Because this is a qualitative research project the strict empirical value of the data collected is somewhat less important than it would be in a quantitative research project the integrity of the information is still important. It is imperative that a carefully organized system of data conversion be utilized to ensure the accuracy and dependability of the accumulated information. Standardized interview forms are an absolute necessity. The interview process already provides for a high level of subjectivity so requiring the interviewers to adhere to a strict set of interview questions will minimize this subjectivity as much as possible. It might be important for the interviewers to follow an observational protocol as well. Doing so will allow the use of information regarding the reactions of interview subjects available to the personnel analyzing the data.
The process of coding is an essential part of the analysis. The reason that coding is so important is that it is the most unique part of the qualitative research process. This part of the procedure is where mistakes most likely occur. Subjectivity enters the process at this point and it is imperative that it is minimized as much as possible. In order to develop research results reliable and useful it is imperative that proper and disciplined coding techniques be applied.
The first step in the coding process is to review the data looking for information that is pertinent and related to answering the research question. Information unrelated to the question must be discarded while pertinent information must be properly categorized and recorded. Proper categorizing demands that theories and biases be ignored. Cold analysis of the data is required.
Proper sorting of the information is essential. We must make sure that copies of everything are made so as to not stall the completion of the project. At this point it is also important to eliminate information that is not needed. Being careful not to destroy anything that might be unexpectedly needed later will save the research team hours of valuable time. Research and data analysis often times raises issues that were not originally considered. Having information readily available that one might have at one point thought was irrelevant can also save valuable time and energy.
The next step is the nuts and bolts of our research. How we organize the research results and present them will go a long way in determining how the findings of the report are accepted by the public. Making sure that the major points are presented as such is essential. We will make every effort to make sure that the presentation is interesting and engaging. Sharing the project with outside disinterested parties and requesting their input will be part of our process prior to actual publication of the results. Patience is our mantra. Presenting a quality final product is more important than the physical act of completing the task.
As a final note, every effort will be made to make sure that the final written copy is well organized and is supported not only by the data but also outside sources that support our arguments. These outside sources are not intended to be part of the report. They are offered as support only.
We have every expectation that the results of our research will support the our position that the three strike rule has had a positive effect on reducing crime in the state of California. Despite complaints by civil libertarians, the three strike rules have removed career criminals from the streets of our California cities and as the years pass and the rule is applied with more frequency the effect of the rules should only increase. Presently there is still some opposition to these rules but if their effectiveness can be demonstrated this opposition should be eased.
The past several years have seen a proliferation of legislation directed at controlling recidivistic behavior in criminals through the increased application of laws commonly referred to as "three strike rules." The state of California has been at the forefront of this form of legislation and has been used repeatedly as an example of such legislation. The effectiveness of these new laws, including those of California, remains in question due not only to their relative infancy but also due to a uniform determinism of what constitutes effectiveness. The purpose of this research will be to review both issues.
The guiding force behind the three strike rules has been the general public's growing fear over perceived increases in crime. Politicians at all levels have recognized the public's concern and successfully leveraged said fear into hotly debated campaign issues. In an era when incarceration is already at an all-time high, the momentum of the three strike rules is surprisingly poised