Correctional Service of Canada (CSC)
The reintegration project of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is a controversial system. Whilst the CSC maintains that its system works effectively for best enabling offenders to slowly acclimatize to the community thus stabilizing to communal life and easier finding jobs, critics opine that the public security is put at risk and that such a system far from working is only enabling offenders to return to crime.
In 1996, for instance, the May report of the Auditor General of Canada noted that some of the programs that the CSC implemented were not particularly cost-effective, whilst the service has not ensured continuity between jail and the community as it promised. This being the case, many criminals have consequently slipped through the cracks upon reintegration and lapsed. As regards sex offenders, the Audit furthermore noted, “Currently, 35% (or approximately 400 released offenders) are not receiving relapse prevention treatment. Furthermore, this shortfall is most pronounced in the two regions with the largest proportion of sex offenders.” (OAGC, 1996). Finally, according to the Canadian Police Association, 66 people that were killed between the years 1998-2003 by offenders on early release show that the system is not working.
Since the debate has gone back and forth with public safety at risk and no decision is in sight, the objective of my research would be to focus on two goals:
Firstly to assess whether the reintegration program is effective in achieving what it aim to so namely to reintegrate offenders in the community and reducing crime.
Secondly, whether crime has indeed increased and public safety decreased since this program has been introduced.
2. State hypothetic or null hypothesis that would guide research
My hypothesis is dual: firstly that a reintegration program shows little or no success in reducing crime level.
The alternate hypothesis here would be that the reintegration program shows significant in reducing crime.
My second hypothesis would be that the integration program of the CSC has only threatened public security and demonstrates inefficiency in crime-reduction since its inception
The null hypothesis here would be that the reverse is the case or that insufficient evidence exists to demonstrate any particular results.
3. Develop a method to research that hypothesis
My method would be observational resources supplemented with open-ended interviewing, surveys and direct mail questionnaires.
Focusing on one place, this would be a longitudinal research over the span of several years following the progress of parolees who have been released, and integrated into the community. I would select a sample of approximately 70 such parolees and follow their progress assessing their results. This would include interviews with their care workers, with their families, their colleagues, their employers, and teachers (if they attend school), and people assigned to their case. Success of program would be assessed by the percentage of the paroles that manage to effectively integrate to community life. This research would be done in two or three phases. The first would follow parolee for several years, assessing his progress. The second phase would track parolee after space of approximately 3 years to assess whether improvement has had permanent results; to check up where parolee holds with his life. And this investigation will be repeated in a further 3 years following that. This longitudinal observational, fieldwork research would best enable me to assess whether or not this reintegration program works and validity of reports that circulate regarding its damage.
Identify involved variables (independent, dependent, and intervening) and constants that apply
The independent construct here is the reintegration program. The dependent construct is the parolee’s change in conduct hinging on the effects f that program. The intervening conditions (confounding variables) include family, peers, offender’s economic situation, pressure, and other environmental pressures that my induce him to return to a life of crime.
Explain why you are not using other methods
The method described above is the most applicable to this study since I would need a closely involved study. I would not use a quantitative experimental approach since randomization is out of the question here — this is a convenience sample. I would also like to have a rich study that operates in a real-life situation and this cannot be studied via empirical means.
I agree with Dilthey (1954) that humans, being more flexible and diverse than objects studied in a lab (animals included), cannot and should not be ‘frozen’ under a ‘microscope’ for statistical analysis and factual conclusions. Humans, not reducible to the physical world, cannot be fissured down to discrete variables. Doing so would result in ignoring the very aspects of their humanity, consequently leading to erroneous conclusions.
I also choose qualitative rather than quantitative methodology since this is longitudinal research, exploratory rather than fixed in the manner in which laboratory psychology conducts its analyses. An exploratory, ongoing approach is more reflective of the human condition, which, itself, is in a constant state of flux and development. Rather than seeking verification, the qualitative approach prides itself on being more fluid and flexible than the quantitative research in that its focus is, continuously, on the attempt to remain open to the ‘newness’ in the human journey and to the possibility of altering previous judgments. Humans, being multi-faceted, have to be studied in all their complex details for conclusion to be reached, and since humans interact with their environment, the environment has to be studied too. Now, since humans undergo a variety of environments in one lifetime, and since humans differ one from the other, definite scientific conclusion are ontologically impossible. Human research, consequently, has to be an ongoing process, with the scientist steeped in the other’s environment in order to gain some sort of assumption (never a definite or conclusive assumption) of the why’s and wherefores of his target’s psychological workings
Identify and discuss the theoretical perspective that best fits your chosen topic and methodology.
I would use a grounded methodology since my research question would be studying a certain population and, from observation, drawing assumptions about roots and derivatives of problem. The opposite of the scientific inductive approach, grounded theory adopts a deductive stance where research develops from data, rather than the other way round. Its constructivist approach will be useful to both the researchers and to the field as a whole since a constructivist approach examines the participants’ thoughts, feelings, opinions, stance etc., A constructivist approach is also helpful to the researchers themselves since it allows them to compare the sentiments and opinions of the studied participants with their own particular cognitions and attitudes (Charmez, 2006).
Charmaz, K. (2006) Constructing Grounded Theory. NY: Sage,
Correctional Service of Canada. [Online] Retrieved from:
Correctional Service of Canada. The CAC System [Online] Retrieved from:
Correctional Service of Canada. Transforming Corrections. http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/organi/trnsfrmtn-drgs-eng.shtml
CTV News. Easy Out: Catching those on the lam, (Apr. 22, 2003). Retrieved on Monday, December 13, 2010 from http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/WFive/20030422/WFIVE_rope_parole_030425/
Dilthey, W. (1954). The essence of philosophy. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press.
Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAGC). 1996 May Report of the Auditor General of Canada http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_199605_10_e_5041.html)
Office of the Auditor General of Canada. (OAGC). 2008 December Report of the Auditor General of Canada http://www.oagbvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_200812_00_e_31824.
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