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NCJ Number: 219272 Find in a Library
Title: From an Editorial Board Member: How Criminologists as Researchers Can Contribute to Social Policy and Practice
Journal: Criminal Justice Policy Review  Volume:18  Issue:2  Dated:June 2007  Pages:119-131
Author(s): Henry H. Brownstein
Date Published: June 2007
Page Count: 13
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses two main ways for criminal justice research to contribute to justice policy and practice.
Abstract: The main argument is that researchers can use their research findings in two ways to help contribute to criminal justice policy and practice: (1) criminologists can provide the findings of their research to policymakers and practitioners; or (2) they can be advocates for certain policy and practice positions based on their knowledge and experience as scientists. The author notes that this shift in the role of social scientists, and in particular criminologists, has brought more competition and collaboration into the scientific and policy processes. Social scientists who wish to impact public policy will need to feel increasingly comfortable taking on the role of claims maker in a forceful and persistent manner in order to be heard in the political marketplace. While the first line of action was more consistent with the training and socialization that social scientists receive in terms of remaining objective toward the subject matter, the author argues that the second line of action may be more effective for policymaking. In particular, it is argued that for criminologists and other social scientists to be effective, they must learn how to compete and collaborate in the political process that includes other scientists who may make contradictory claims. This may be a difficult stretch for some social scientists because throughout the 20th century, social scientists in the United States have tried to maintain a strict separation of science and policy. Science, they were taught, was to contribute to policymaking only if the findings of their research happened to have policy implications. However, in increasing numbers, criminologists are entering the policymaking arena as researchers are casting off old notions of scientific objectivity in an effort to influence the direction of criminal justice policy. References
Main Term(s): Criminology; Research uses in policymaking
Index Term(s): Behavioral science training; Criminal justice research
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