Dissertation chapter 1

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My research topic is   

An Examination of Police Brutality and Its Impact on Victims’ Families

my Research Questions are as followed: 

i) What drives police to use excessive force?

ii) How has the family experience impacted their perception of the police? 

iii) How does race play a critical role in police brutality?

This is a professional document and has to have little to no errors. 

Anything with many errors will be submitted for a refund

Must be triple checked for errors

All articles used must be SCHOLARLY ARTICLES (minimum of 7 articles but use however many it takes)

Must have completed by 3/7/23 

must be available for all edits from the professor 

Attached is an example Final Dissertation mia (follow the highlighted yellow for reference of chapter 1 ONLY for example )

Must have all the sub titles of chapter one from the attached file 

PhD_Management_Annotated_Dissertation_Template_Qualitative_APA_7_

17

Abstract

[Dissertation Title]

by

[your official name]

MA, [university], 20XX

BS, [university], 20XX

Dissertation (or Proposal) Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

Management

Walden University

[last month of term you graduate] 20XX

Abstract



Abstract text is double-spaced with no paragraph breaks. Describe the overall research problem being addressed in the first couple of sentences and indicate its important (e.g., who would care if the problem were solved). You can include a general introduction of the issue in the first sentence, but move to a clear statement of the research problem being addressed. Identify the purpose and theoretical foundations, if appropriate, summarize the key research question(s), and briefly describe the overall research design, methods, and data analysis procedures. Identify the key results, one or two conclusions, and recommendations that capture the heart of the research. Conclude with a statement on the implications for positive social change. Do not include references or citations in the abstract. Per APA style, spell out numbers nine and below, and use numerals for numbers 10 and above. If a number is the first word of a sentence, always spell it out. For listed items within a paragraph like this, (a) use letters, not numbers, in parentheses; (b) separate items with commas unless; (c) there is already a comma in one of the clauses. In that case, separate the elements with a semicolon. See the Walden Center for Research Quality for more information on the
Litmus Test for the problem statement as well as on abstracts. In addition to the four elements in the Litmus Test, the PhD in Management adds a fifth element: connects with positive social change. Walden University envisions a distinctively different 21st century learning community where knowledge is judged worthy to the degree it can be applied by its graduates to the immediate solutions of critical societal challenges, thereby advancing the greater global good. Show how your dissertation will connect with positive social change.

[Dissertation Title]

by

[your official name]

MA, [university], 20XX

BS, [university], 20XX

Dissertation (or Proposal) Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

Management

Walden University

[last month of term you graduate] 20XX

Dedication


This is an optional page for a dedication. It does not have a page number. If you include a dedication, use regular paragraph formatting as shown here (not centered, italicized, or otherwise formatted). This page is already correctly formatted, so you can simply replace the sample text with your own. The Dedication heading does not appear in the table of contents. If you do not include any text on this page, delete it completely.

The Dedication page is a wonderful opportunity for you to pay special tribute to those individuals or organizations that provided you with encouragement, special assistance, or inspiration throughout your academic career.

Acknowledgments



As with the Dedication page, the Acknowledgments page is optional. It is a nice place to thank the faculty, friends, and family members who have helped you reach this point in your academic career. Some people make note of their spiritual beliefs and thank their Higher Power for helping to make their dreams possible.

Generally an acknowledgment page is no more than one page in length and consists of a brief description of how you were shown support by the people you acknowledge. Although it is not mandatory, it is good practice to thank anyone who gave you permission to use any copyrighted materials.

It is not necessary to include every single person or entity that helped you complete your dissertation. Usually, just the major players are acknowledged. Those who contributed in a minor way can be acknowledged in a general statement. For example, one could write, “I am forever grateful to all those at whatever organization and to everyone else I did not mention, but contributed in some fashion to the successful completion of this dissertation.”

This page is already correctly formatted, so you can simply replace this text with your own. If you include an Acknowledgments page, there is no page number, and the heading does not appear in the Table of Contents. If you do not include Acknowledgments, delete the heading and text, being careful to not delete the section break below this text.

Table of Contents



List of Tables





iv



List of Figures





v



Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study





1



Background of the Study





1



Problem Statement





1



Purpose of the Study





2



Research Questions





2



Theoretical Foundation





2



Conceptual Framework





3



Nature of the Study





3



Definitions





4



Assumptions





4



Scope and Delimitations





4



Limitations





5



Significance of the Study





5



Significance to Practice





5



Significance to Theory





5



Significance to Social Change





6



Summary and Transition





6



Chapter 2: Literature Review





7



Literature Search Strategy





7



Theoretical Foundation





7



Conceptual Framework





8



Literature Review





8



Summary and Conclusions





9



Chapter 3: Research Method





10



Research Design and Rationale





10



Role of the Researcher





10



Methodology





10



Participant Selection Logic





11



Instrumentation





11



Pilot Study





12



Procedures for Recruitment, Participation, and Data Collection





13



Data Analysis Plan





13



Issues of Trustworthiness





14



Credibility





14



Transferability





14



Dependability





14



Confirmability





14



Ethical Procedures





14



Summary





15



Chapter 4: Results





16



Pilot Study





16



Research Setting





16



Demographics





16



Data Collection





16



Data Analysis





17



Evidence of Trustworthiness





17



Credibility





17



Transferability





17



Dependability





17



Confirmability





17



Study Results





18



Summary





20



Chapter 5: Discussion, Conclusions, and Recommendations





21



Interpretation of Findings





21



Limitations of the Study





21



Recommendations





21



Implications





21



Conclusions





22



References





23



Appendix A: Title of Appendix





25





The Table of Contents (TOC) above must be updated to reflect the headings and pagination in your own document. First, ensure that you have applied the appropriate Styles tags to all APA Level 0, 1, and 2 headings. To update the TOC, right click anywhere in the Table of Contents, select Update field, then select Update entire table or Update page numbers only, and click OK. This should populate the TOC with all headings tagged as APA Level 0, 1, and 2 within your document.




List of Tables



Table 1
.
Sample Table Title





18



Table 2
.
Another Sample Table Title





19

The List of Tables above must be updated to reflect any tables in your document. If you do not have any tables, delete this page (including the page break at the end of the page).

To update the above List of Tables, you must ensure that you have used the Insert Caption method to label your tables, following the instructions at the end of the Instructions for Using the PhD Management Annotated Dissertation Template document. Once you have done this, to update the List of Tables, right click anywhere in the list, select Update Field, then select Update entire table or Update page numbers only, and click OK. This will populate the List of Tables with your table numbers and titles.

If you follow this method, the table number and title will come in without a period between them, and there will be a mix of bold, italic, and plain font. Clean up the List of Tables manually by selecting all of the text and removing bolding and italics, then enter a period after each table number and one character space before the table title, as shown in the model in the template.



List of Figures



Figure 1
.
Sample Figure Title





19



Figure 2
.
Another Sample Figure Title





20


The List of Figures must be updated to reflect any figures in your document. If you do not have any figures, delete this page,
but be careful not to delete the Section Break at the end of the page, as doing so will disrupt the pagination of the template.

To update the above List of Figures, you must ensure that you have used the Insert Caption method to label your figures, following the instructions at the end of the
Instructions for Using the PhD Management Annotated Templates document. Once you have done this, to update the List of Figures, right click anywhere in the list, select Update Field, then select Update entire table or Update page numbers only, and click OK. This will populate the List of Figures with your figure numbers and titles.

If you follow this method, the figure number and title will come in without a period between them, and there will be a mix of bold, italic, and plain font. Clean up the List of Figures manually by selecting all of the text and removing bolding and italics, then enter a period after each figure number and one character space before the figure title, as shown in the model in the template.

v


Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study

[Describe the topic of the study, why the study needs to be conducted, and the potential social implications of the study. Preview the major sections of the chapter.
Notes: This introductory material should be about a page in length.

Each of the following sections contains a suggested page length; however, the length of each section should be determined by sufficiency and completeness.]


Background of the Study

[Briefly, summarize research literature related to the scope of the study topic. Describe a gap in knowledge in the discipline that the study will address. End the section on why the study is needed.
Note: This section should be between two and four pages in length.]


Problem Statement


[State the research problem. Provide evidence of consensus that the problem is current, relevant, and significant to the discipline. Frame the problem in a way that builds upon or counters previous research findings, focusing primarily on research conducted in the last 5 years. Address a meaningful gap in the current research literature.
Notes: The problem statement should meet the Walden Litmus test; that is, it must be justified, grounded in the literature, original, and amenable to scientific study. See the Walden Center for Research Quality for more information on the
Litmus Test. In addition to the four elements in the Litmus Test, the PhD in Management adds a fifth element: connects with positive social change. Walden University envisions a distinctively different 21st century learning community where knowledge is judged worthy to the degree it can be applied by its graduates to the immediate solutions of critical societal challenges, thereby advancing the greater global good. Show how your dissertation will connect with positive social change.

One approach is to include both the general problem statement, which presents a broad concept of the problem, and the specific problem statement, which presents the focus of the study. Key words such as “the problem is . . .” are helpful to the reader. This section should be concisely written and be about a half a page in length.]

Purpose of the Study

[Provide a concise statement that serves as the connection between the problem being addressed and the focus of the study and contains (a) the research paradigm, (b) the intent of the study (such as describe, compare, explore, develop), and (c) the concept/phenomenon of interest.
Notes: see Creswell’s
Research Design book, Chapter 6, for scripts on writing Purpose Statements. This section should be concisely written and be about a half a page in length.]


Research Questions

[State the research question(s).
Note: This section should be less than a page in length.]


Theoretical Foundation

[Studies must include either a theoretical foundation or a conceptual framework section; studies may include both or just one. If there is only a Theoretical Foundation section, then delete the Conceptual Framework section heading/content and vice versa.

Identify the theory or theories and provide the origin or source. State concisely the major theoretical propositions and/or major hypotheses with a reference to more detailed explanation in Chapter 2. Explain how the theory relates to the study approach and research questions.
Note: This section should be between one and three pages in length.]


Conceptual Framework

[Identify and define the concept/phenomenon that grounds the study. Describe concisely the conceptual framework (for qualitative studies, the distinctive ideas; for quantitative studies, a description of the body of research that supports the need for the study) as derived from the literature, with reference to a more detailed analysis in Chapter 2. State the logical connections among key elements of the framework with a reference to a more thorough explanation in Chapter 2. State how the framework relates to the study approach and key research questions as well as instrument development and data analysis where appropriate.
Note: A framework is a container for ideas, information, and such. A theory is a body of knowledge that is explanatory and predictive. For example, Porter’s value chain is a framework, while Ricardo’s comparative advantage is a theory.
Note: This section should be between one and three pages in length.]


Nature of the Study

[Provide a concise rationale for selection of the design/tradition. Briefly describe the key concept and/or phenomenon being investigated. Briefly summarize the methodology (from whom and how data are collected and how data will be analyzed).
Note: This section should be between one and three pages in length.]


Definitions

[Provide concise definitions of key concepts or constructs. Define terms used in the study that have multiple meanings (e.g., socioeconomic status, educator, health service professional). Do not include common terms or terms that can easily be looked up in a dictionary. Include citations that identify support in the professional literature for the definition or operational definition.
Notes: The term should be indented the same as a paragraph indent, italicized, and terminated with a colon, with the definition itself in plain type, sourced, and listed alphabetically. This section should be between one and three pages in length.]


Assumptions

[Clarify aspects of the study that are believed but cannot be demonstrated to be true. Include only those assumptions that are critical to the meaningfulness of the study. Describe the reasons why the assumption(s) was/were necessary in the context of the study.
Note: This section should be around a page in length.]


Scope and Delimitations

[Describe specific aspects of the research problem that are addressed in the study and why the specific focus was chosen. Define the boundaries of the study by identifying populations included and excluded and theories/conceptual frameworks most related to the area of study that were not investigated. Address potential transferability.
Note: This section should be around a page in length.]


Limitations




[Describe limitations of the study related to design and/or methodological weaknesses (including issues related to limitations of transferability and dependability). Describe any biases that could influence study outcomes and how they are addressed. Describe reasonable measures to address limitations.
Note: This section should be around a page in length.]



Significance of the Study

[The Significance of the Study is described in terms of (a) how this study will/may fill a gap in the literature, (b) professional application, and (c) positive social change (e.g., improvement of human or social conditions by promoting the worth, dignity, and development of individuals, communities, organizations, institutions, cultures, or societies). Be certain to address and include the phrase
positive social change in this section.
Note: This section, including the three subsections, should be between three to five pages in length.]


Significance to Practice

[Identify potential contributions of the study that advance practice and/or policy (as applicable).]


Significance to Theory

[Identify potential contributions of the study that advance knowledge in the discipline. This is an elaboration of what the problem addresses.]


Significance to Social Change

[Describe potential implications for positive social change that are consistent with and bounded by the scope of the study.]


Summary and Transition

[Summarize main points of the chapter. Provide a transition to Chapter 2.
Note: This section should be around a page.]




Chapter 2: Literature Review

[Restate the problem and the purpose. Provide a concise synopsis of the current literature that establishes the relevance of the problem. Preview major sections of the chapter.
Note: This section should be less than a page in length.]


Literature Search Strategy

[List accessed library databases and search engines used. List (and italicize) key search terms and combinations of search terms (with more detailed search terms located in an appendix if appropriate). Describe the iterative search process by explaining what terms were used in what database to identify germane scholarship. In cases where there is little current research, and few (if any) dissertations and/or conference proceedings, describe how this was handled.
Note: This section should be between one and three pages in length.]


Theoretical Foundation

[Include only the Theoretical Foundation and/or the Conceptual Framework here as provided in Chapter 1. Either one or both may be presented, depending on what was presented in Chapter 1.

Name the theory or theories. Provide origin or source of the theory. Describe major theoretical propositions and/or major hypotheses, including delineation of any assumptions appropriate to the application of the theory. Provide a literature- and research-based analysis of how the theory has been applied previously in ways similar to the current study. Provide the rationale for the choice of this theory. Describe how and why the selected theory relates to the present study and how the research questions relate to, challenge, or build upon existing theory.
Notes: Either the theoretical foundation or the conceptual framework may be provided; both are not required but may be presented. This section should be between three and six pages in length.]


Conceptual Framework

[Identify and define the concept/phenomenon. Synthesize primary writings by key theorists, philosophers, and/or seminal researchers related to the concept or phenomenon. Provide key statements and definitions inherent in the framework. Describe how the concept or phenomenon has been applied and articulated in previous research and how the current study benefits from this framework.
Notes: Either the theoretical foundation or the conceptual framework may be provided; both are not required but may be presented. This section should be between three and six pages.]


Literature Review

[Provide an exhaustive review of current literature that includes the following information regarding the key concepts of the study.

Describe studies related to the constructs of interest and chosen methodology and methods that are consistent with the scope of the study. Describe ways researchers in the discipline have approached the problem and the strengths and weakness inherent in their approaches. Justify from the literature the rationale for selection of the concepts. Review and synthesize studies related to the key concepts and/or phenomena under investigation to produce a description of what is known about them, what is controversial, and what remains to be studied. Review and synthesize studies related to the research questions and why the approach selected is meaningful.
Note: This section should be between 30 and 50 pages in length.]


Summary and Conclusions

[Concisely summarize major themes in the literature. Summarize what is known as well as what is not known in the discipline related to the topic of study. Describe how the present study fills at least one of the gaps in the literature and will extend knowledge in the discipline. Provide transitional material to connect the gap in the literature to the methods described in Chapter 3.
Note: This section should be around a page in length.]



Chapter 3: Research Method

[Restate the study purpose as described in Chapter 1. Preview the major sections of the chapter.
Note: This section should be less than a page in length.]


Research Design and Rationale

[Restate research questions exactly as written in Chapter 1. State and define central concept(s)/phenomenon(a) of the study. Identify the research tradition (e.g., qualitative and the selected design such as narrative research, case study, phenomenology, ethnography, or grounded theory). Provide a rationale for the chosen tradition. Explain why other possible choices would be less effective.
Note: This section should be between one and three pages in length.]


Role of the Researcher

[Define and explain your role as observer, participant, or observer-participant. Reveal any personal and professional relationships you, as the researcher, may have with participants, with emphasis on supervisory or instructor relationships involving positions of power with the participants. State how any researcher biases and/or power relationships are or will be managed. Describe other ethical issues as applicable (these could include doing a study within one’s own work environment, conflict of interest or power differentials, and justification for use of incentives) and the plan for addressing these issues.
Note: This section should one or two pages in length.]


Methodology

[Needs to be described in sufficient depth so that other researchers can replicate the study.]


Participant Selection Logic

[Identify the population (if appropriate). Identify and justify the sampling strategy. State the criterion/a on which participant selection is based. Establish how participants are known to meet the criterion/a. State the number of participants/cases and the rationale for that number. Explain specific procedures for how participants will be identified, contacted, and recruited. Describe the relationship between saturation and sample size.
Notes: Qualitative phenomenological studies should have a sample size of 20 participants or until saturation occurs. Sample sizes for other qualitative studies may vary. For example a case study may collect data from appropriate participants with other data coming from observations, or other collected data sets. This section should be two or three pages in length.]


Instrumentation

[Identify each data collection instrument and source (e.g., observation sheet, interview protocol, focus group protocol, videotape, audiotape, artifacts, archived data, and other kinds of data collection instruments). Identify the source for each data collection instrument (i.e., published or researcher produced). If historical or legal documents are used as a source of data, demonstrate the reputability of the sources, and justify why they represent the best source of data. Establish sufficiency of data collection instruments to answer research questions.]

[
For published data collection instruments, add the following: Who developed the instrument and what is the date of publication? Where and with which participant group has it been used previously? How appropriate is it for current study (i.e., context and cultural specificity of protocols/instrumentation) and whether modifications will be or were needed? Describe how content validity will be or was established. Address any context- and culture-specific issues specific to the population while developing the instrument specific to the population.
Note: If the instrument was researcher developed, do not respond to these questions.]

[
For researcher-developed instruments, add the following: Basis for instrument development (i.e., literature sources or other bases, such as a pilot study). Describe how content validity will be/was established. Establish sufficiency of data collection instruments to answer the research questions.
Notes: If the instrument was published by another researcher, do not respond to these questions. This section may be between three and five pages in length.]


Pilot Study

[Do not include this section if a pilot study will not be done. However, pilot studies are frequently done with qualitative studies to test researcher-developed instruments, protocols, and instructions.]

[Include all procedures for recruitment, participation, and data collection associated with the pilot study and the main study. Describe the relationship of the pilot study to the main study (e.g., what is the purpose of the pilot study?). Include the IRB approval number in the completed dissertation.
Notes: This section may not be appropriate for all studies but if provided should be between one and two pages in length. Many of the techniques used in the primary study and the pilot study may be the same.]


Procedures for Recruitment, Participation, and Data Collection

[For each data collection instrument and research question, provide details of data collection.

· From where will data be collected?

· Who will collect the data?

· Frequency of data collection events.

· Duration of data collection events.

· How data will be recorded?

· Follow-up plan if recruitment results in too few participants.

· Explain how participants exit the study (e.g., debriefing procedures).

· Describe any follow-up procedures such as requirements to return for follow-up interviews.

Note: This section should be between two and six pages in length.]


Data Analysis Plan

[For each type of data collected, identify:

· Connection of data to a specific research question.

· Type of and procedure for coding.

· Any software used for analysis.

· Manner of treatment of discrepant cases.

Note: This section should be between three and six pages in length.]


Issues of Trustworthiness



Credibility

[Credibility (internal validity): Describe appropriate strategies to establish credibility, such as triangulation, prolonged contact, member checks, saturation, reflexivity, and peer review.
Note: This section should be less than a page in length.]


Transferability

[Transferability (external validity): Describe appropriate strategies to establish transferability, such as thick description and variation in participant selection.
Note: This section should be less than a page in length.]


Dependability

[Dependability (the qualitative counterpart to reliability): Describe appropriate strategies to establish dependability, such as audit trails and triangulation.
Note: This section should be less than a page in length.]


Confirmability

[Confirmability (the qualitative counterpart to objectivity): Describe appropriate strategies to establish confirmability, such as reflexivity.
Note: This section should be less than a page in length.]


Ethical Procedures

[Agreements to gain access to participants or data. Include actual documents in the Institutional Review Board (IRB) application. Describe the treatment of human participants including the following (include actual documents in the IRB application):

· institutional permissions, including IRB approvals that are needed (for the proposal) or were obtained (for the completed dissertation, include relevant IRB approval numbers)

· ethical concerns related to recruitment materials and processes and a plan to address them

· Eehical concerns related to data collection/intervention activities; these could include participants’ refusing participation or early withdrawal from the study and response to any predicable adverse events and a plan to address them

Describe treatment of data, including archival data, including issues of:

· whether data are anonymous or confidential and any concerns related to each, and

· protection for confidential data (i.e., data storage procedures, data dissemination, who will have access to the data, and when the data will be destroyed).

Other ethical issues as applicable: These issues could include doing a study within one’s own work environment, conflict of interest or power differentials, and justification for use of incentives.
Note: This section should be between one and two pages in length.]


Summary



[Summarize the main points in the chapter. Provide a transition statement to Chapter 4.
Note: This section should about a page in length.]



Chapter 4: Results

[Review briefly the purpose and research questions. Preview the organization of the chapter.
Note: This section should be about a page in length.]


Pilot Study

[If provided, describe the pilot study. Report any impact the pilot study had on the main study (e.g., changes in instrumentation and/or data analysis strategies).
Note: This section should be about a page in length.]


Research Setting

[Describe any personal or organizational conditions that influenced participants or their experience at the time of study that may influence interpretation of the study results (e.g., changes in personnel, budget cuts, and other trauma).
Note: This section should be about a page in length.]


Demographics

[Present participant demographics and characteristics relevant to the study.
Note: This section should be about a page in length.]


Data Collection

[State the number of participants from whom each type of data was collected. Describe location, frequency, and duration of data collection for each data collection instrument. Describe how the data were recorded. Present any variations in data collection from the plan presented in Chapter 3. Present any unusual circumstances encountered in data collection.
Note: This section should be between two and three pages in length.]


Data Analysis

[Report process used to move inductively from coded units to larger representations including categories and themes. Describe the specific codes, categories, and themes that emerged from the data using participant quotations as needed to emphasize their importance Describe qualities of discrepant cases and how they were factored into the analysis.
Note: This section should be between three and six pages in length.]


Evidence of Trustworthiness



Credibility

[Describe implementation of and/or adjustments to credibility strategies stated in Chapter 3.
Note: This section should be less than a page in length.]


Transferability

[Describe implementation of and/or adjustments to transferability strategies stated in Chapter 3.
Note: This section should be less than a page in length.]


Dependability

[Describe implementation of and/or adjustment to consistency strategies stated in Chapter 3.
Note: This section should be less than a page in length.]


Confirmability

[Describe implementation of and/or adjustment to consistency strategies stated in Chapter 3.
Note: This section should be less than a page in length.]


Study Results

[Address each research question. The chapter may be organized by research question or patterns or themes. Present data to support each finding (e.g., quotes from transcripts, documents, etc.). Discuss discrepant cases/nonconfirming data as applicable. Include tables and figures to illustrate results, as appropriate and per the current edition of the
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Note: This section should be between six and 15 pages in length.]




Tables 1 and 2 reflect correct APA format for tables. Note that the point size of table text can be smaller than body text (12 point) but no smaller than 8 point. You may change the font inside tables to a sans serif font such as Arial if you wish. For guidance on formatting tables in APA Style, visit the
Doctoral Capstone Form and Style webpage on tables.



Table 1
Sample Table Title

Stub heading

Column A

Column B

Column C

Column D

Row 1

Row 2

Row 3

Row 4


Note. From “Attitudes Toward Dissertation Editors,” by W. Student, 2020,
Journal of Academic Optimism,
98, p. 11 (

https://doi.org/10.xxxxxxxxx
)
. Copyright 2020 by Academic Publishing Consortium. Reprinted with permission.

This general table note cites the source of a table that was originally printed elsewhere. You must obtain permission from the copyright holder to reprint a table or figure that is not in the public domain. Include letters of permission in an appendix. Per APA 7.14, table and figure notes must be left justified and double spaced, as shown here.



Table 2
Another Sample Table Title

Stub heading

Column A

Column B

Column C

Row 1

Row 2

See instructions at the end of the
Instructions for Using the PhD Management Annotated Templates document for creating table labels that can be updated in the List of Tables.

Figures 1 and 2 reflect APA formatting rules for figure captions. As with tables, refer to the figure by number in the narrative text preceding the placement of the figure. For more on figures in APA Style, visit the Doctoral Capstone Form and Style
Figures page.




Figure 1
Sample Figure Title





Figure 2
Another Sample Figure Title

See instructions at the end of the
Instructions for Using the PhD Management Annotated Templates document for creating figure labels that can be updated in the List of Figures.

Summary

[Summarize answers to research questions. Provide a transition to Chapter 5.
Note: This section should be about a page in length.]



Chapter 5: Discussion, Conclusions, and Recommendations

[Concisely reiterate the purpose and nature of the study and why it was conducted. Concisely summarize key findings.
Note: This section should be less than a page in length.]


Interpretation of Findings

[Describe in what ways findings confirm, disconfirm, or extend knowledge in the discipline by comparing them with what has been found in the peer-reviewed literature described in Chapter 2. Ensure interpretations do not exceed the data, findings, and scope.
Note: This section should be between four and eight pages in length.]


Limitations of the Study

[Describe the limitations to trustworthiness that arose from execution of the study. These should be used to revise what was written in Chapter 1 for the proposal.
Note: This section should be about a page in length.]


Recommendations

[Describe recommendations for further research that are grounded in the strengths and limitations of the current study as well as the literature reviewed in Chapter 2. Ensure recommendations do not exceed study boundaries.
Note: This section should be between three and five pages in length.]


Implications

[Positive social change: (a) Describe the potential impact for positive social change at the appropriate level (individual, family, organizational, and societal/policy); and (b) ensure implications for social change do not exceed the study boundaries. Express as tangible improvements. Describe methodological, theoretical, and/or empirical implications, as appropriate. Describe recommendations for practice, as appropriate.
Note: This section should be between four and six pages in length.]


Conclusions






[Provide a strong
take-home message that captures the key essence of the study.
Note: This section should be less than a page in length.]





References

Examples of references follow. Replace with your own references, which should come from four possible sources: peer reviewed journals, some books, some dissertations, and some government or professional organizational websites.

Suggest up to 100 to 150 references with 80% to 85% being peer-reviewed journal articles published within 3 to 5 years of the expected graduation date. References should be primarily electronic journal articles with perhaps a few seminal articles, professional books, dissertations, or professional/government websites.]


Insert references here. Examples of some common types of references follow.

These sample entries are tagged with the “APA Reference” style tag, which means the line spacing and hanging indent are automatic. Apply the “APA Reference” style tag to your entries.

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Journal article with DOI (even if accessed in print form)

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Author, A. A. (1994).
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APA References
.



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(Template updated November 2020)

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17

Walden University

College of Psychology and Community Services

This is to certify that the doctoral dissertation by

…………………..

has been found to be complete and satisfactory in all respects,

and that any and all revisions required by

the review committee have been made.

Review Committee

Dr. Darius Cooper, Committee Chairperson,

Criminal Justice Faculty

Dr. Nikolas Roberts, Committee Member,

Criminal Justice Faculty

Dr. Michael Klemp-North, University Reviewer,

Criminal Justice Faculty

Chief Academic Officer and Provost

Sue Subocz, Ph.D.

Walden University

2023

Abstract

Discipline without Punishment for African American Male Juveniles:

From the Eyes of a Mental Health Professional

by

Mia Nichole Lee

MS, Saint Leo University, 2019

BS, Norfolk State University, 2016

Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

Criminal Justice

Walden University

January 2023

Abstract

Juvenile rehabilitation and incarceration among African Americans are not equal and up to the standards and recommendations of society. This study focused on identifying the differences between the juvenile rehabilitation and incarceration punishment among African American offenders, with the goal of helping improve the way that the society looks at African Americans. The paper followed qualitative research methodology, which provided social evidence and helped in breaking down information. Data were collected from focus groups, observations, questionnaires, and interviews. The research highlights issues regarding juvenile rehabilitation and incarceration of African Americans, which can encourage change.

Discipline without Punishment for African American Male Juveniles:

From the Eyes of a Mental Health Professional

by

Mia Nichole Lee

MS, Saint Leo University, 2019

BS, Norfolk State University, 2016

Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

Criminal Justice

Walden University

January 2023

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank God first and foremost for getting me through my journey. Without faith, there is no way I would have been able to fight through the hard times. I also would like to thank my family and friends for supporting me through this tough and rewarding journey of obtaining my doctoral degree. Without their love and support, there is no way possible I would have been able to maintain my strength to continue to push through these three years. I want to thank my chair and co-chair for their guidance and motivation. Everyone that supported me from afar and cheered me on, you are also appreciated. I am so blessed to be able to complete my doctoral degree.

.

Table of Contents



List of Tables





iv



Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study





1



Background of the Study





1



Problem Statement





2



Purpose of the Study





3



Research Questions





3



Theoretical Foundation





4



Nature of the Study





5



Significance of the Study





5



Chapter 2: Literature Review





7



Literature Search Strategy





8



Theoretical Foundation





9



Conceptual Framework





11



Literature Review





12



Summary and Conclusions





23



Chapter 3: Research Method





25



Research Design and Rationale





25



Role of the Researcher





25



Methodology





26



Participant Selection Logic





26



Instrumentation





27



Procedures for Recruitment, Participation, and Data Collection





28



Data Analysis Plan





29



Issues of Trustworthiness





29



Dependability





29



Confirmability





30



Ethical Procedures





30



Summary





31



Chapter 4: Results





32



Research Setting





32



Demographics





32



Data Collection





32



Data Analysis





33



Evidence of Trustworthiness





34



Credibility





34



Transferability





34



Dependability





35



Confirmability





35



Study Results





36



RQ 1: What are the Disparities Between Jail and Youth Rehabilitation for African American Offenders?





36



RQ 2: What are the Problems in Terms of Rehabilitation and Incarceration Useful for Creating Justifying Strategies of the Social Issue of African American Juveniles?





37



RQ 3: Why are African American Male Juveniles not Offered Other Means of Rehabilitative Punishments?





38



RQ 4: What Effects Does Existing Jail and Punishment System Have on This Population?





38



Summary





39



Chapter 5: Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations





40



Interpretation of Findings





40



Limitations of the Study





41



Recommendations





41



Implications





42



Conclusions





42



References





44



Appendix: Interview Questions





55









List of Tables



Table 1
.
Demographics Table





40




v



Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study

In the juvenile justice system, African American boys are the most overrepresented demographic (Voisin et al., 2017). The influx of African American male adolescents into the juvenile court system has generated a social problem. The presence of African American male kids in the juvenile penal system has societal ramifications (Ryan et al., 2013), including absenteeism, drug abuse, and gang membership (Lucero et al., 2015). If these concerns are not addressed, there is a risk that the child offender may commit crimes as an adult, leading to more serious consequences (Barnette et al., 2015; Schlesinger, 2018).

Juvenile delinquent treatment and punishment presents a principle to consider punishment versus treatment. Though some claim that because juveniles are young, they should receive therapy rather than punishment for their crime, punishment for juveniles who commit murder is preferable to treatment because some contend that they understood fully what they were doing. The purpose of this study paper was to explore the distinctions between juvenile rehabilitation and prison punishment for African American criminals. The study concentrates on identifying the problem in terms of rehabilitation and incarceration and, as a result, changing and improving the way society views African Americans.


Background of the Study

The criminal justice system provides services that ensure offenders do not participate in criminal activities when released into society. The system offers both direct punishment and rehabilitation services to the offenders (Donaldson, 2020). Rehabilitation provides a chance for individuals to learn about the cause of their problems, learn changes in behaviors, and eliminate the risk of committing a crime. Incarceration includes punishment as a way of correcting the offenders. Individuals taken through rehabilitation seem to show improved behaviors when released than those from incarceration.

In terms of juvenile justice, youths from marginalized communities face differences in the juvenile system compared to youths from other communities. Even though there have been strides in the juvenile’s system, the length other stay of the African American male youths in confinement and the level of punishments when incarcerated exceeds what is stipulated on the policies. Policies and individuals argue that tough punishments should be given to violent offenders, and nonviolent offenders should be rehabilitated. Such policies are more likely to affect African American male youths because they are often associated with violent crimes.

Punishment can take the form of parole, life sentences, the death penalty, or a lengthy prison sentence; however, treatment is where juveniles receive assistance, such as counseling or community mentorship (Listwan, 2013). The goal of treatment is rehabilitation (Listwan, 2013). Treatment can happen in schools, households, prisons, or various community institutions (Listwan, 2013). This study was conducted to examine the differences in treatment and punishment among African American juveniles.


Problem Statement

African American male juveniles often do not get offered rehabilitation methods, but they get punished to serve incarceration time (González, 2017). This leads to higher recidivism rates because they do not have alternative resources. When people are released from prison and return to society, most of them engage in further criminal acts. To assist avoid repeat offenses, it is necessary to implement rehabilitative programs among convicts rather than imposing direct punishment. When juvenile offenders are put into the criminal justice system, the issue is whether they should be sent to serve their penalty automatically or whether there should be rehabilitative approaches that may be used to assist protect them from reoffending.


Purpose of the Study

The study’s goal was to determine the difference between juvenile rehabilitation and jail punishment among African American criminals, addressing inequality in juvenile rehabilitation and imprisonment among African Americans. Because the study focuses on identifying this societal problem, the results can encourage improving the way society views African Americans. I used qualitative research methodology, which helped gather evidence.



Research Questions

1. What are the disparities between jail and youth rehabilitation for African American offenders?

2. What are some social issues that African American juveniles are faced with?

3. Why are African American male juveniles not offered other means of rehabilitative punishments?

4. What effects does existing jail and punishment system have on this population?


Theoretical Foundation

According to punishment theories, offenders are taken through the incarceration process to discourage them from getting involved in criminal activities. According to utilitarian philosophy, laws that define a penalty for illegal action should be intended to deter future criminal behavior (Garland, 2018). The punishment serves as an example for the rest of society and a message to others that criminal behavior will be punished. Incarceration also exists to punish the offenders because they deserve the punishment (Donaldson, 2020). Punishment is described as suffering, loss, pain, or any other consequence inflicted on a person by the relevant authorities for the offense. What individuals feel is acceptable in terms of criminal consequences is mainly governed by the ideology of punishment to which they subscribe—that is, individuals tend to agree with the punishment theory that is most likely to produce the outcome they feel is proper (Enns & Ramirez, 2018).

Rehabilitation is another utilitarian argument for punishment. The goal of rehabilitation is to allow offenders to succeed within the confines of the law so that they do not commit crimes again (Garland, 2018). In most cases, rehabilitative interventions for criminal offenders involve treatment for mental illness, substance abuse, and recurring violent behavior. The use of educational programs to give offenders with the information and skills they need to engage in the labor market is also part of rehabilitation.


Nature of the Study

The research followed the descriptive research design to focus on helping to find and answer the
how,
what,
where, and
when. The descriptive research design is also appropriate because it can help establish a research plan. This design helped to understand the reasons between the juvenile rehabilitation and incarceration punishment among the African American offenders.


Significance of the Study

African American male juvenile rehabilitation versus incarceration punishment is worth studying because there are juvenile offenders who were offered rehabilitative methods after their detention center time and ended up in a better situation compared to those who only had direct punishment and were released with no resources. Studying rehabilitative programs and the different therapeutic methods can help assist juveniles with re-entering society. Several conclusions can be drawn from this research: (a) learning and practicing the coping strategies described by the participants would benefit African American male juveniles who are incarcerated and (b) stakeholders would be able to make better decisions when deciding what constitutes a juvenile crime and how the sentencing hearing will be put in place before incurring punishment. Stakeholders may help ensure that laws, regulations, and rehabilitation initiatives are just, meaningful, and consistent, and that the penalty is proportional to the offense. This research might also help Virginia’s Juvenile Court System by implementing intervention measures that could minimize juvenile recidivism. The data gathered in this study can be utilized to help reduce recidivism rates among African American male youths in Virginia. The study adds to the little body of knowledge about the impact of laws, policies, and rehabilitation programs on African American male adolescent recidivism.



Chapter 2: Literature Review

As a result of rehabilitation or incarceration, teenagers and adolescents who have had involvement with the juvenile justice system have greater incidence of behavioral health disorders. Further, recidivism is common in studies on African American male adolescents (Baglivio & Wolff, 2017; Feld, 2017; Fine et al., 2016, 2017; Western, 2006). U.S. politicians have sought to prevent incarceration and minimize recidivism, but their efforts have not lowered recidivism rates (Sawyer & Wagner, 2020). For example, various reform laws and policies have been in place to control criminal activity among African American. However, though the Huvenile Justice Reform Act’s focus was on rehabilitation (Baglivio et al., 2016; Boggs & Worthy, 2016), more than half of individuals who enroll in rehabilitation programs reoffend within 3 years after serving their sentences (Sawyer & Wagner, 2020). Because African American males confront several hurdles when they return to their communities after incarceration, it is critical to comprehend the factors that contribute to their high recidivism rates, such as negative opinions regarding the legal justice system (Augustyn, 2015) and disproportionate minority contact (DMC) with the justice system. Juvenile justice policy in the United States has also gotten increasingly harsh over the last few decades. Today, juveniles as young as 13 or 14 years old (or less) can be prosecuted and punished as adults for a wide range of offenses, including nonviolent crimes, in nearly every state.

The literature on the association between juvenile justice system engagement and youth behavioral issues is examined in this section. The goal of the literature review is to look at how African American juvenile ex-offenders’ life experiences have influenced their views on rehabilitation versus incarceration. The present literature on African American male juveniles, existing programs, recidivism, and the effects, if any, of the Juvenile Justice Reform Act on African American male juveniles is introduced in this chapter. The theoretical underpinning for this study, Sutherland’s (1939, 1947) differential association theory, is outlined in the next section. The chapter also covers the history of the juvenile justice system in the United States, the high recidivism rates of African American male adolescents, and rational for this study based on the literature and the association it has with good societal change in terms of rehabilitation and incarceration.


Literature Search Strategy

The literature review was done by looking for scholarly publications in Internet databases. Government websites and dissertations were also searched to provide a fuller understanding of this issue. Using Walden’s University’s online resources, databases for this literature review included ProQuest Central and Criminal Justice, 
Crime & Delinquency, Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, PsychINFO, PsychARTICLES, SAGE Premier Google Scholar, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Criminal Justice, Journal of Juvenile Justice, and Journal of Correctional Education. Keywords like
African American male, rehabilitation, incarceration, recidivism, recidivate, juvenile, reoffending, social learning theory, labeling theory, former juvenile convicts, juvenile reentry, black male, juvenile offenders, status offense, juvenile laws, juvenile acts, sentencing, and
United States Juvenile Justice were used as the primary strategy for this search.


Theoretical Foundation

Sutherland’s (1939, 1947) differential association theory provided the theoretical foundation for the study. The theory explains that when a person engages in illegal activity, the frequency with which such action occurs varies based on the person’s direct personal relationships (Mowen & Boman, 2018). Differential association theory can be used to explain aspects of a person’s procriminal behavior through interaction with a close associate whose conduct is deviant (Hanson et al., 2018), making it useful for explaining the type of punishment the justice system imposes, such as rehabilitation or incarceration.

Sutherland (as cited in Kassem, 2017) proposed nine distinct association arguments, the first of which implies that criminal conduct is not dictated by DNA. Second, interpersonal communication is a type of communication. Third, small intimate groups are the key gathering where the majority of learning occurs. Fourth, the directing of urges, rationalization, and perspective are all tactics for committing a crime. Fifth, the direction in which the urges and motivations proceed demonstrates awareness of whether they correspond with the terms of the law. Sixth, being delinquent demonstrates that some has broken the law. Seventh, deviance will alter the frequency with which something occurs, the duration with which it occurs, the preference with which it is preferred, and the strength with which it is effective. Eighth, processes and noncriminal conduct present a possibility for an individual to benefit by studying and practicing the behavior in the same way that criminal behavior is studied and shown. The differential association manifestation of criminal conduct is the last statement. Although wants and values may not explain why criminal conduct exists, both criminal and noncriminal behavior reflects an individual’s needs and values.

The differential association theory has been considered as the most complete theory of delinquency and youth criminal activity. Gray et al. (2015) used the theory to analyze teenage marijuana usage and discovered that it could explain 40% of the behavior. Based on their findings, when people have a personal connection to those who engage in illegal or deviant activity, the consequences on their mental attitude and value definition might enhance the risk of repeating the same undesirable behavior through imitation and reinforcement. Deviant conduct is influenced by communal features (Nuo & Katz, 2018). For instance, poverty, a large proportion of ethnic minority populations, and a diminishing population overall, as seen in Chicago and Georgia, were recognized as three perceived criteria for towns with high rates of adolescent delinquency (Mowen & Boman, 2018). Perpetrators who were affiliated with persons who committed the same crime were also more likely to reoffend, according (Damm & Gorinas, 2016; Ouss, 2011). Similarly, a juvenile who hangs out with people who have done or are going to commit a crime gets a kick out of the bad conduct that leads to peer pressure to commit or reoffend.

The differential association theory gives a lens through which to understand the elements that contribute to juvenile recidivism as well as the significant impact that reoffending has on African American males. The theory explains the delinquent conduct of many African American males as a result of their living situation, which may include a lack of a positive male role model in the household. African American male minors may have seen or known someone of their own race who got a small sentence for a criminal offense (e.g., selling drugs or stealing) and was freed after serving a short time in prison. Young African American boys who see these minimal repercussions for undesirable behavior may wonder what would happen to them if they committed illegal offenses based on their views and observations of those who have done so. This theory offers a lens through which to understand some of the elements that contribute to juvenile recidivism as well as the significant impact on young African American males who socialize with reoffending peers.


Conceptual Framework

As previously stated, punishment theories suggest that criminals are subjected to jail to deter them from engaging in illegal activity. Punishment indicates that rules exist and are utilized to enhance society’s satisfaction. Punishment has ramifications for both the offender and society and is associated with the creation of overall good conduct in a person. The retributive philosophy emphasizes the offense as the basis for enforcing punishment. The utilitarian view looks forward and bases punishment on societal advantages, whereas the retributive approach looks backward and bases punishment on the transgression. Human beings have independent will and are capable of making reasonable judgments, according to retributivists. Insane or otherwise inept offenders should not be punished. An individual who deliberately chooses to disturb society’s equilibrium, on the other hand, should be penalized. Incarceration as a kind of punishment can be considered as a type of retribution, since wrongdoers must suffer because they cause others to suffer. As a result, incarceration might be justified as a means of protecting both society and the offender’s lawful rights. Punishment demonstrates society’s respect for the wrongdoer’s free choice by allowing the criminal to repay the debt to society and then return after jail, ideally free of guilt and disgrace.

A utilitarian justification for punishment is rehabilitation. The purpose of rehabilitation is to keep criminals from committing crimes again by providing them the tools they need to prosper within the constraints of the law. Treatment for mental illness, substance dependency, and recurrent aggressive conduct are common rehabilitative approaches for criminal offenders. Educational programs are frequently used in rehabilitation to provide offenders with the information and skills they need to succeed in the employment market.


Literature Review

The criminal justice system is expected to either rehabilitate or punish offenders or criminals. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of punishment and rehabilitation in reducing crime in society. The study discusses the effectiveness of both punishment and rehabilitation in deterring crime as well as the effects on the individual/offender, the victim and their families, the social and fiscal effects on society, and the management of those who have already been convicted and are under community supervision.

Recidivism among African American youth the involvement in reoffending behaviors by adolescents is one of the key factors to the rise in juvenile crime, prompting the debate over rehabilitation versus incarceration for African American juveniles. High rates of juvenile recidivism—being convicted for crimes after being discharged (Department of Juvenile Justice, 2022)—impact people’s and communities’ quality of life (Mauer, 2011). The social context, such as the consequences of poverty, may play a role in recidivism (Sanej & Mir-Khalili, 2015). Ejection or school dropout, a lack of educational possibilities, difficulties of living status (low-income housing regions), and high unemployment rates are all factors that contribute to juvenile recidivism (Upadhyayula et al., 2015).

Punishment as a way to address crime, is the most common method of reducing crime or misbehavior in the criminal justice system has been to penalize those who have been convicted (Morris & Rothmn, 1995). As a result, society views punishing the criminal as the most efficient means of ensuring that the victim receives equal justice. The main goal of executing punishment in prison systems is to hold not just the criminal but also the community accountable for their misdeeds (Sutherland et al., 1992). Punishment is seen as a means of teaching society, particularly those preparing to commit crimes, about the repercussions of their actions. People learn through example (Gilligan, 2012). As a result, the harsh sentence meted out to a criminal act as a lesson to society’s members, preventing them from committing crimes.

The Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2013 addressed several issues that concerned stakeholders in the United States. The expense, the rate of recidivism, and the diversion of young offenders from jail to more focus-based therapy for small or misdemeanor offenses were the most urgent problems (Okonofua et.al, 2021). These programs became recognized as community-based programs, and their principal goal was to minimize adolescent criminal activity via rehabilitation. Community-based programs were created to address the underlying issues that contribute to delinquent conduct in the context of the juvenile’s community. These issues originate from a range of life concerns, such as work, educational learning, mentorship, and housing, to name a few (Okonofua et al., 2021). Georgia, for example, provides resources to help children transition from jail to their home communities (Tan & Zapryanova, 2020). Furthermore, the penalty would be ineffective in deterring crime from those who have been described as being overwhelmed by emotions or having a sort of disordered thinking when it comes to caring about the repercussions of their actions.

Another point of contention has been how to assess the success of punishment and rehabilitation in reducing the negative consequences for victims and their families. From this perspective, rehabilitation has shown to be the most successful since it is said to provide victims and their families with stability and protection following the release of their offender. Rehabilitation increases the many changes by rebuilding a feeling of self-worth so that they may return to the society and be useful and respected. Individuals who participate in rehabilitation programs improve their communication skills, which they will use once they are freed (“BOP: Community Ties,” n.d.). Some victims’ family see these changes in their ex-offender, who expresses regret for their actions. Learning such abilities also aids offenders in managing with negative influences and learning how to deal with the victims they have wronged, preventing recidivism. Putting the criminal in rehabilitation instills terror in the victims and their family, who are concerned that the offender will still come after them when he or she is released. However, with good rehabilitation therapy, criminals modify their ways and feel guilt for their wrongdoing. As a result, they require a second opportunity in the community to reclaim their dignity and self-confidence in themselves and their employers. Consequently, they are able to manage and deal with their employees in order to earn a livelihood and meet social and personal duties such as housing. This boosts the country’s economy as well as public faith in people who have been wronged (
https://bjs.gov/).

The impact of a punishment or rehabilitation procedure on society may also be used to assess its success. Despite the argument that some delinquents may change after being punished, unfriendly and brutal treatment, such as incarceration, has been observed to increase tolerance among criminals, hence boosting recidivism rates (“Bureau of Justice Statistics (

https://bjs.gov/
),” n.d.). That indicates punishment has flaws since it requires full intensity to be successful; otherwise, the effect would be transient, and tolerance would be required in the long term.

Furthermore, the administration of heavy punishment to delinquents may be viewed as a violation of society’s sense of fairness and justice. As a result, compared to rehabilitation, the penalty would be judged to have an impact of increasing recidivism and the frequency of crime in society. Recidivism or re-involvement in misbehavior is common among rehabilitated criminals, according to statistics (“Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS),” n.d.). As a result, most criminals may utilize rehabilitation as a ruse to reclaim a chance to reintegrate into society. This makes punishment more attractive since it promotes long-term imprisonment and delinquent correction.

The purpose of rehabilitation, according to reports, is to protect or enhance the victim’s long-term security and safety when the delinquent is released back into the society (“Topic: Justice System | NCJRS,” 2018). It could be argued that justice is based not only on the importance or effectiveness of providing the victim with equitable justice in punishment as a means of retribution, but also on the creation and instilling in the delinquent a sense of respect for the rights and property of others (“BOP: Resources For Victims,” n.d.). Rehabilitation is a more dependable kind of punishment that aims to restore peace and allow people to reintegrate into society. It trains offenders for reintegration into society.

While in imprisonment, the offender considers how they will prove to the society that they have changed, whether they will obtain work or jobs, the parole authorities’ directives, where they will live, and whether or not their relatives would accept them back. “National Criminal Justice Reference Service | NCJRS,” n.d., states that “rehabilitation programs require finances to provide for medical therapies counseling to minimize anxiety that increases as their release date approaches.” The fear of being exposed to society makes offenders fearful, leading them to repeat their crimes. Paying psychologists and caseworkers helps to cover the workload and so reduces the offender’s sensations or emotions. As a result, adopting rehabilitation can be perceived as a flaw in crime because of the economic implications and the perception that it merely leads to counseling and other medical therapies rather than the severe and sometimes brutal punishment administered by security officials in jail. Furthermore, rehabilitation procedures and processes are seen to be more expensive for both the community and the government.

Officers who are inherently punitive, on the other hand, may find it difficult to build rehabilitation programs (Burton Jr et al., 1991). Punishment tries to confine criminals and ensure that they feel the consequences of their actions while incarcerated. Confinement is claimed to be a possible technique of minimizing the likelihood of repeating the same offenses once freed. It is clear from an examination and study of the effectiveness of both punishment and rehabilitation that, based on the two justice methods, rehabilitation of the criminal is better since it eliminates inhumane treatment. As a result, the likelihood of recognizing physiological modeling of the delinquent’s regular conduct increases.

When deciding whether punishment or rehabilitation is successful, both the social and financial effects of the society should be addressed. Charges against recidivists in California are based on three main strike rules, according to Adler et al. (2009). For strike two, the offenders would be accused with twice the at-hand offense term with barely any release time before serving an 80 percent of the term, and for strike three, they would be sentenced to 25 years to life without the possibility of parole before serving an 80 percent of that 25-year sentence. If all states applied or implemented such laws, the society would feel safer. This would minimize a variety of misbehaviors in society, such as drug misuse, gun violence, and any other type of crime.

As a result, rehabilitation will save money because it does not necessitate the construction or installation of prisons. However, in the United States, more monies have been allocated to the construction of prisons than to the establishment of rehabilitation programs (“National Criminal Justice Reference Service | NCJRS,” n.d.). In addition, as they prepare for their release, rehabilitation programs aid delinquents in finding work, finding a place to live, and reducing anxiety. Government money is required for rehabilitation programs. It fosters good self-esteem and obtaining work via the learned job aids in demonstrating to the victims, their families, and the society that they have shown regret and improved themselves.

There is a need to recognize and appreciate the value of long-term security in terms of the consequences on victims and their families, the effect on the offender, social implications, and budgetary effects on the community. Most proponents of punishment have argued that punishing criminals is the best option, claiming that it gives equitable justice for misconduct or wrongdoings committed against other members of the society. Punishment has also been demonstrated to have little effect on reducing crime in society since criminals may grow tolerant, increasing recidivism. Offenders, on the other hand, may utilize rehabilitation as a ruse as they prepare to be freed. Victims and their family fear rehabilitation because of the possibility that their abusers would be freed and come after them. Offenders, on the other hand, require a feeling of self-worth and trust that can only be gained via rehabilitation. Funding rehabilitation programs and establishing prisons are some of the linked social and economic expenses. Proponents to argue for rehabilitation, claiming that it strives to make criminals more trustworthy in terms of respecting other people’s human rights, have used this argument. Due to the related expenses, everyone in society should embrace and maintain harmony.

Youth who were considered boisterous, uncontrollable, or disobedient were either given a tolerated flogging or transported to adult jails until the 1800s. These facilities were rat-infested, dangerous, and in dreadful shape (Springer & Roberts, 2011). During this period, children as young as seven years old were deemed old enough to face charges such as stealing, aggression, graffiti, parental abuse, and neglect (Bilchik, 1999; Juvenile Crime, Juvenile Justice, 2001).

There were no distinct juvenile justice systems for minor offenders prior to the Progressive Era. Delinquent minors were either dealt with by the adult criminal court system or placed in shelters (Amdur, Davidson, Mitchell, & Redner, 2013). As an alternative to prisons, homes of refuge were patterned like impoverished dwellings. Youth were placed in a residential facility with the goal of removing them from the harmful settings that lead to their bad behavior in the first place (Amdur et al., 2013). They operated on a rigid educational, hard labor, and disciplined paradigm. The idea was that these harsh standards, rather than love and care, would lead to recovery. By the 1840s, there were about 25 homes of refuge scattered across the nation (Springer & Roberts, 2011). Each refuge home housed between 200 and 1,000 young people (Springer & Roberts, 2011). Houses of shelter became a detention center for marginalized adolescents, with limited success in rehabilitating them. Furthermore, the residences were plagued with overpopulation, staff abuse, and hazardous circumstances, rendering them outdated (Springer & Roberts, 2011). Other options for dealing with delinquent kids were sought by reformers (Amdur et al., 2013).

Jane Addams and Julia Linthrop lobbied for legislation that resulted in the first juvenile court in Cook County, Illinois, being established in 1899. (Springer & Roberts, 2011; Thompson & Morris, 2015). Except for Wyoming and Maine, every state had a functioning juvenile court by 1925. (Juvenile Crime, Juvenile Justice, 2001). These courts were more concerned with rehabilitation than with punishment. Early juvenile justice systems concentrated on therapy and rehabilitation rather than punishment because of the youngster’s immature moral, social, emotional, and intellectual qualities (Thompson & Morris, 2016).

Even though the federal government began to pay attention to juvenile justice in 1912 (OJJDP, n.d.), Congress did not approve any official statutes connected to juvenile delinquency until 1960. (Olsen-Raymer, 1983). The Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Control Act has been changed, updated, and renamed multiple times since it was first enacted in 1961 (Delcea et.al, 2019). The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA, 1974) gave the juvenile justice system nearly complete power over the treatment of juvenile delinquency (Tan & Zapryanova, 2020). At this period, the criminal justice system served as both a deterrent and a control for delinquency. Status offenses like as truancy or noncriminal misconduct were used to hold youth who were thought to be susceptible to criminality. Because the judicial system had been criticized, revisions to the JJDPA were made, stating that the justice system could only act once a delinquency had occurred, rather than preventatively (Hawkins & Weis, 1985).

The juvenile justice system is starting to take on the characteristics of the adult judicial system (Thompson & Morris, 2016). While emulating the adult judicial system has shown to be advantageous in terms of protecting these young offenders’ rights, it has also resulted in a more severe approach to dealing with juvenile lawbreakers. The juvenile justice system has been incarcerating adolescents at an increasing rate since adopting adult-style techniques (Thompson & Morris, 2016). According to Aizer and Doyle (2015), approximately 130,000 juveniles are jailed in the United States each year, with 70,000 children incarcerated on any given day. Juvenile imprisonment is linked to lower school completion rates and higher adult incarceration rates, according to data collected from over 35,000 young offenders (Aizer & Doyle, 2015). A juvenile justice system that emphasizes jail and punishment can be harmful to children (Aizer & Doyle, 2015; Thompson & Morris, 2016).

Researchers have discovered that the adolescent frontal lobe and prefrontal cortex are immature. These areas of the brain influence Planning and self-control in adolescents. In comparison to adults, kids are more inclined to act rashly and neglect long-term effects (Monahan, Steinberg, & Piquero, 2015). These considerations should be taken into account when deciding how to interact with juvenile offenders. Discipline and control-oriented interventions have been proven to be ineffective (MacKenzie & Farrington, 2015). Punishment-based rehabilitation programs that employ a bootcamp mindset and tough discipline have had dismal results (Young, Greer, & Church, 2017). Nisar et al. (2015) investigated the juvenile justice system’s growing “get-tough” approach, which leads to more children being transferred to adult courts and prisons rather than getting rehabilitative treatment.

In 2015, there were around 82,940 juvenile offenders aged 12 to 18 who were not living at home (Sickmund, Sladky, Kang, & Puzzanchera, 2017). These children were housed in residential placement institutions such as juvenile detention centers and correctional facilities (Campaign for Youth Justice, 2016). On average, 21% of all juveniles who are brought before the courts for minor infractions are sentenced to jail. Hoy et al. (2016) looked at the link between juveniles being detained and their subsequent involvement with the juvenile justice system and street life. According to Hoy et al., incarceration does nothing to rehabilitate kids and instead increases their likelihood of engaging in activities that lead to subsequent incarceration. Raphel (2014) suggested that incarcerating children for delinquent conduct can have detrimental consequences for their scholastic and production results, leading to further offending.

Retaining juvenile offenders in the community while providing rigorous intervention can improve the odds of success for the youngster’s rehabilitation (May, Osmond, & Billick, 2014). When compared to those who were sentenced to in-home probation, those who were sentenced to detention facilities had a 2.12 times higher chance of reoffending (Ryan, Abrams, & Huang, 2012). Interventions focusing on skills training and restorative practices, on the other hand, have been shown to be helpful in the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquent kids (MacKenzie & Farrington, 2015).

Rehabilitation groups educate kids how to manage their hostility, which has been linked to a decrease in violent conduct. Conflict resolution approaches and interpersonal skills training are complimentary therapies used to improve the mental processes and interpersonal behavioral tactics that cause children to participate in deviant conduct (OJJDP, 2016). Anger management strategies, conflict resolution skills, issue identification, and social resistance training are among the abilities targeted by these therapies. These treatments encourage cooperative behavior and can help adolescents build good peer bonds while also helping to reduce negative behaviors (OJJDP, 2016; Trupin, 2007).

Wong, Bouchard, Gravel, Bouchard, and Morselli (2016) investigated whether restorative justice practices were most effective in rehabilitating delinquent juveniles and reducing recidivism. Even though the study found that restorative justice methods that hold the offender accountable for his or her actions are more successful than punitive measures like jail, there were sample size and exclusion criteria limitations. Furthermore, peer-reviewed publications were lacking in the literature. As a result, the suggested research is required as a tool for policy reform.

Summary and Conclusions

Juvenile criminality and delinquency are a social problem that has a significant emotional impact on society (Pardini, 2016). Several elements contribute to adolescents being delinquent. The broad literature analysis provided insight into the problem’s history, scale, and complexities, with the goal of better understanding the success of African American male rehabilitation vs incarceration.

The emphasis of this study endeavor was on African American male juvenile delinquents. The factors that led to their incarceration, according to Omboto, Ondiek, Odera, and Ayugi (2013), are frequently not adequately treated inside bars. As a result, the study focuses on the role of the criminal justice system in rehabilitating or incarcerating these kids. The subject of African American male juvenile delinquents was explored in this area of the capstone, as well as the study’s consequences for the social work community, the juvenile justice system, and this delinquent adolescent population. The key gap identified throughout the literature research is the absence of therapeutic participation for African American male juvenile delinquents with gang connection since the court system typically employs a punitive strategy when dealing with this demographic. As a result, these children are deprived of the opportunity to learn new skills, create healthy peer connections, and learn how to avoid recidivism in the future.



Chapter 3: Research Method

Juvenile delinquency affects communities all around the world (Shoemaker, 2017). Being a member of a gang is a predictor of criminal behavior (Dong & Krohn, 2016), and youth gang involvement is disproportionately African American (Pyrooz & Sweeten, 2015). To avoid ongoing criminal behavior, it is critical to learn how the criminal justice system views their involvement in the rehabilitation or incarceration of African American, gang-affiliated, adolescent delinquents.


Research Design and Rationale

Qualitative researchers value the input of each participant to the research process (Roller, 2015). Action research may be used to achieve criminal justice goals through empowering people (Brydon-Miller et al., 2003). Because the study was conducted to look into rehabilitation versus incarceration in the treatment of African American juvenile issues, feedback from experts who currently work with this demographic was crucial. In addition, the research aimed to enable participants to advocate for change at the micro, meso, and macro levels.


Role of the Researcher

As the study’s researcher, I created the groundwork for the study with the goal of gathering as much relevant data from the participants as possible. I also analyzed and interpreted the data. During the study, it should be critical to adhere to the procedures and ethical standards to preserve participants’ rights. There were no breaches of confidentiality, or any type of compulsion used to get important information. There were efforts to guarantee that the participants’ participation has no negative consequences.


Methodology

Data were gathered from licensed social workers and licensed mental health professionals who deal with African American males who engaged in delinquent behaviors as juveniles or have worked with them in the past. Interviews were completed to obtain information (see Guest et al., 2017), which related to what values and abilities African American juvenile delinquents lack the most. Furthermore, the questions aided in the investigation of rehabilitation strategies for African American, gang-affiliated adolescent delinquents as an alternative to punitive measures. Furthermore, the interviews findings will aid in the development of a framework for the criminal justice system’s debate over rehabilitation versus imprisonment. This will include systemic concerns and impediments that obstruct the capacity to achieve the stated goal of instilling values in youngsters for them to behave better in social roles.


Participant Selection Logic

Utilizing nonprobability sampling, five licensed social workers and five licensed mental health professionals, who have dealt with African American males who engaged in delinquent behaviors as juveniles, will be chosen to partake in the research. be recruited to participate in the study. For qualitative study, Ritchie, Lewis, Elam, Tennant, and Rahim (2013) advocate utilizing nonprobability sampling to choose individuals with characteristics that are relevant to the issue. The goal of the research is to learn how the criminal justice and correctional systems see their responsibilities and capabilities in assisting African American male adolescent delinquents. When it came to selecting volunteers for the study, homogeneous samples that were meant to offer an in-depth look at a certain topic were chosen.

Email will be used to recruit participants. Those that are contacted will be familiar with the people with whom they work in this group. The snowball approach was used to identify the five social professionals that took part in the study. The snowball approach will also be used to identify the remaining twenty people. Male and female volunteers will be included in the sample size. Participants will range in age from 21 to over 40 years old and come from any ethnic background.

Although some of the potential volunteers have already been identified, the researcher will have no personal ties to any of them. Bias won’t be a problem. To avoid bias in action research, Creswell (2013) proposed only asking open-ended questions. The researcher is not restricting the replies based on prejudice by employing open-ended questions. If the researcher asks closed-ended questions, the responder must pick from the options provided rather than the response that he or she believes best answers the question. The researcher’s personal sentiments will not impact the participants’ replies by asking open-ended questions (Creswell, 2013). Furthermore, by gaining informed permission, participants will be educated about the research procedure and aim.


Instrumentation

The interview questions during the interview, would be open-ended in nature. Open-ended inquiries allow the respondent to express themselves freely. Furthermore, employing open-ended questions allows the reply to add their own perspective to the topic (Zull, 2016). A consent form regarding each participant’s duties in the interview, was distributed in the invitational email. Following that, the interview participant was given a guided list of open-ended questions to answer. This provided an opportunity for the interview participants to see how they were going to discuss how to effectively provide rehabilitation to African American male juvenile delinquents. “What are the disparities between jail and youth rehabilitation for African American offenders? one question asked. “What effect do you believe the existing jail and punishment system has on this population?”


Procedures for Recruitment, Participation, and Data Collection

Participants in this study will mostly come from two Virginia cities: Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. To recruit people, I employed random sampling. First, I sought data of five licensed social workers and five mental health professionals, both who have worked with individuals who engaged in delinquent behaviors as juveniles. Once these individuals were chosen, I set up a date and time to have a phone interview with them to present myself and my study. I then sent them an email requesting their permission to participate. An invitational email and consent form is a good way to present the research to participants (Wise & Cantrell, 2018). In addition, I screened all replies to ensure that only those who met the criterion of being willing to discuss their lived experiences working with African American male adolescents were interviewed. Participants had the opportunity to meet me and learn more about the study over the phone or in a designated location. Those chosen received an email or phone call thanking them for their time and inviting them to all meetings and interviews. After interviews, participants had the chance to see and revise transcripts of the interviews, or if they prefer, in a public area where they felt at comfortable and safe (e.g., libraries, restaurants, or cafés).


Data Analysis Plan

Content analysis is widely used by qualitative researchers to examine data by grouping information into groups depending on interpretation (Elo et al., 2014; Zhang & Wildemuth, 2009). Interviews were recorded and transcribed into text. Themes were selected to categorize the material after gathering the data and transcribing the tape. The topics discovered from the interview transcript were categorized using hand coding. The tallying took place in accordance with the topics that the group agreed on as well as the areas where there were differences of opinion. Conclusions were formed when all the data had been collected, processed, and examined. Having active participation in the project allowed my preconceptions and prejudices to be addressed by the other participants, ensuring the project’s trustworthiness and rigor (Padgett, 2017).


Issues of Trustworthiness

To communicate the study data, a written representation of the in-depth fieldwork was completed. The textual depiction gives the background that created this research’s overall credibility and reliability. The findings of this study can be used to future studies of a similar nature. All standards were followed to guarantee the data collecting, trustworthiness, credibility, and analysis processes were all protected.


Dependability

Using Walden University’s outline as a foundation for my research helped me to collect data from participants in a succinct and accurate manner. To guarantee that the overall study quality was reliable, every method outlined in Walden’s standards had to be followed. Using a strategic skill set allowed me to define and carry out the research’s overall objectives.


Confirmability

Confirmability is shown when others can verify the participants’ results (Patton, 2015). I based my conclusions only on the information gathered during the study. The body language and expression of the individual participants as they discussed their impressions of their lived experiences with African American male juvenile ex-offenders were captured through observations in this study. In addition, I checked the results based on the data obtained.


Ethical Procedures

It is a researcher’s obligation and responsibility to follow the ethics outlined in the NASW (2017) code of ethics when doing research (Fowler, 2013). Walden’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved the research study before it was carried out (approval no. 12-02-22-1023123). All procedures were included while filling out the IRB permission application. All IRB-approved protocols for ensuring ethical and procedural practice in the research project were followed.

Before participating in an action research study, participants must sign a permission form. A definition of the study, the participant’s role, the fact that the study is voluntary and no compensatory, and confidentiality requirements were all mentioned in the consent form. Each participant had the right to withdraw from the research at any time and obtain copies of everything that were discussed and signed. When providing information through email, everything was encrypted and password protected. Each participant was given a unique password to correctly examine their materials. Other important documents will be kept in a safe box at a secure place. Finally, all names and other identifying information were redacted and replaced with code numbers to protect each participant’s identity. The master key that identifies each participant’s pseudonym, as well as the tape and transcript of the interview, are kept in a locked safe. I am the only one who can get into the safe. The data will be kept for a minimum of 5 years before being destroyed.


Summary



This chapter outlined a strategy for gathering data through interviews in addition to identifying and contacting potential applicants. I also covered data analysis methodologies. Ethical concerns were addressed, including a suggestion on how to appropriately keep data for at least 5 years. This section was modified after the experiment was completed to add more information about the participants, data collecting, and data analysis.


Chapter 4: Results



Research Setting

An introductory email was sent to the five social workers and five mental health professionals who agreed to participate in the study. The goal was to obtain information from professionals who have experience with African American criminals or delinquents.


Demographics

The sample selected for this study comprised both males and females. Other demographics besides gender considered in this study include the participant’s age and the individual profession. Five mental health professionals and five social workers between 21 and 40 years old were selected for this study. Table 1 provides a summary of the demographics of the sample.



Table 1
Demographics Table

Demographics

Number

Percentage

Gender

Male

5

50%

Female

5

50%

Age

21-40 years

8

100%

Profession

QMHP

5

50%

Social Workers

5

50%


Data Collection

Structured interview questions were administered in a for each participant. Structured questions are fundamental for qualitative studies as they reduce bias. Structured questions are also simple to organize and efficient, with fewer preparation requirements for the interviewees. The structured nature of interviews the data collection method allowed an opportunity to compare responses from different interviewees, heightening the validity and reliability (Hughes et al., 2020). The questions and their order were fixed, meaning there was no option for asking the additional question. The audio was recorded during the session, and the transcript was typed for reference. Studies acknowledge that interviews are fundamental in data collection for qualitative studies and crucial to providing in-depth insights on the subject (McGrath et al., 2018).


Data Analysis

I used content analysis approach to analyze the collected data by translating the interview responses to abstract findings based on individual participants’ viewpoints, knowledge, or experiences with African American male juveniles who have had a history of delinquent behaviors. The content analysis approach for this research entailed collecting the data, noting the findings based on the respondents’ responses, and reviewing and evaluating those findings per the research questions (Zhang & Wildemuth, 2009). The analysis began with the data collected from the interviewees, which were recorded and transcribed into text. After that, I identified the emergent themes, concepts, or the aspects of the study. The analysis of this study was assessed for consistency, from which the most persistent themes will form the basis for the conclusion on the research topic.


Evidence of Trustworthiness



Credibility

The credibility of research relates to the confidence in the study findings as true and reliable (Korstjens & Moser, 2017). Member checks enhanced the study’s credibility. Member checks entail seeking respondent validation such that the findings of the study are sent to the participants to confirm for accuracy and resonance with their insights or experiences. Therefore, the findings of this study were sent to the sample members for their feedback on whether the inferences or conclusions drawn from the results resonate with their experiences.


Transferability

The transferability of the research indicates that its findings apply to similar situations and populations (Korstjens & Moser, 2017). To enhance the transferability of the research findings to other populations and contexts, a sample of professionals with in-depth experience with the African American juvenile settings and advanced knowledge of the encounters of African American criminals provided subject-specific information. Furthermore, the sample of participants, comprised of persons with direct experience with African American criminals, provided justifiable information applicable to other related settings. Therefore, the research findings can be transferred to similar settings to reveal the disproportional experiences of delinquent African American males in jails and rehabilitation facilities.


Dependability

Dependability constitutes the extent to which other researchers can repeat the study and obtain consistent findings (Korstjens & Moser, 2017). It represents the stability of the study findings, including its assessments, inferences, interpretations, and recommendations. For this study, I used the inquiry audit with licensed mental health professionals and licensed social workers, with experience with the jail and rehabilitation settings and familiar with African Americans’ experiences. In this inquiry audit, the researcher asks the professional to review and reevaluate the research implementation and confirm the truthfulness of the findings drawn as an indicator of study dependability.


Confirmability

Confirmability of the study represents the level of neutrality of its findings, so other researchers can confirm the trustworthiness of the findings (Korstjens & Moser, 2017). To affirm the confirmability of the research findings, all inferences in this study are based on the participants’ responses rather than individual or personal preconceptions and fabrications by me. Therefore, an audit trail demonstrating that inferences for this study were systematically achieved through data collection, analysis, and afterward, research-based conclusions affirm the confirmability of the findings. Additionally, to ensure the findings are not due to researcher bias, the findings were verified for consistency using secondary sources and afterward reviewed by peers to offer insights on the correctness of the interpretations.


Study Results

The findings for this study are organized per the research questions, representing the participants’ responses.


RQ 1: What are the Disparities Between Jail and Youth Rehabilitation for African American Offenders?

Most responses confirmed the ongoing disparities in incarceration versus rehabilitation, specifically for African American juveniles and criminals. The results confirm that African American offenders’ likelihood or the possibility of going to jail is higher than admitting them into rehabilitation facilities. Therefore, the proportion of African Americans in jails or incarcerated is relatively high compared to the White majority. For example, Participant 1 stated, “African Americans will be imprisoned more than their White counterparts who will be given rehabilitation.” This participant confirmed the existence of institutionalized prejudice on a racial basis, stating, “institutional racism exists, and the system will spend more man hours and time dealing with White offenders than Black offenders.”

Furthermore, Participant 3 stated, “The youth aren’t getting the proper guidance, mental healthcare, and attentiveness in jail. They are already ‘written off’ which leads to them believing what they’re being taught and increasing the likelihood of them becoming repeat offenders.” Therefore, according to these findings, African American youth are less likely to have access to rehabilitative services and support services to avoid recidivism than their white counterparts. As a result, African American youth are more likely to experience incarceration than undergo rehabilitation services.


RQ 2: What are the Problems in Terms of Rehabilitation and Incarceration Useful for Creating Justifying Strategies of the Social Issue of African American Juveniles?

The participants confirm the dominance of social issues facing African American juveniles, creating disparities in terms of rehabilitation and incarceration. A major social issue facing this group relates to the racial prejudice and profiling of law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system and being under-resourced for educational purposes. For example, Participant 2 stated, “African American male juveniles are faced with a predetermined perception of being criminals as well as a lack of resources in their communities to educate them on the different career paths & trades that exist.” Therefore, racial profiling, where African American youth are more likely to be perceived as criminals, is a leading social issue to incarceration than rehabilitation. Similar to the affirmation by Participant 2, Participant 3 stated, “prejudice; African Americans are seen as thugs, no good, etc., and don’t have proper resources to get them back on their feet. Difficulty getting jobs, getting into school once released.” As per the assertions by Participant 1, stigmas, poor role models, and an inadequate educational system represent other social issues leading to the differences between incarceration and rehabilitation for African Americans. Therefore, racial profiling, prejudice, stigma, and scarcity of resources are contributing factors to the disparities in incarceration versus rehabilitation for African Americans juveniles.


RQ 3: Why are African American Male Juveniles not Offered Other Means of Rehabilitative Punishments?

Participant 3 confirmed that race is a major impediment in the current criminal justice system, attributed to the failure to offer rehabilitative punishments to African American males in the place of incarceration. According to this inference, denying the opportunities for rehabilitation punishment appears as a racial control strategy, especially in the New Jim Crow era, characterized by the mass incarceration of people of color. One of the participants stated that “The New Jim Crow is our correctional system, which seeks to fill jail cells by incarcerating more Black and Latino people who are then utilized as enslaved people in the system for huge corporations and the US Government.” Another participant stated, “The funding doesn’t exist to provide other rehabilitative opportunities in African American communities.” The scarcity of resources to fund rehab services and models in the African American communities and the issue of race are impediments to mass incarceration.


RQ 4: What Effects Does Existing Jail and Punishment System Have on This Population?

The study findings also confirm that the effects of incarceration in the place of rehabilitation are far-reaching. Recidivism is a recurring effect due to the dominance of jail options rather than implementing rehab services. The African American youth are at high risk of reoffending since they have no access to services that prepare their reunion with the community. One of the participants in the focus group stated, “Jail becomes so familiar that you may subconsciously do things to go back. You are not taught life skills, so if/when you get out, you start from ground zero.” Most offenders released to the community are not adequately prepared for a reunion. Another respondent stated,

The existing punishment system allows offenders to be separated from the public, but it does not provide them with any resources to be successful once their time is complete. Not addressing the underlying issues of how they entered the system as well as how they can live a successful life after now being labeled as a criminal normally results in repeat offenders.

Therefore, per these findings, the jail punishment is demeaning and heightens vulnerability to mental health challenges, mainly due to the limited access to support services.


Summary

This chapter provides an in-depth account of the study findings to answer the research questions. The results confirmed that African Americans are more likely to be jailed than receive rehabilitative services, which are associated with most social issues like prejudice, racial profiling, and being under-resourced. The aspects of racial control via the new Jim Crow era and scarcity of resources appear as major hindrances to providing rehab punishments for African Americans. As a result, these disparities are associated with increased recidivism, failed reunion with the community, and vulnerability to mental health challenges. The findings are trustworthy, confirming their credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability.


Chapter 5: Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations



Interpretation of Findings

African American juveniles and criminals are more likely to be incarcerated in jails than receiving rehabilitative services. This disparity is evident in this study’s findings, consistent with the results of other secondary resources integrated into this research. For example, González (2017) confirmed that African American juveniles experience high risks of incarceration and harsh conditions in those facilities with no services to prepare them to integrate with society after release. Other studies also confirm that African American youths are more likely to be targets of jails than rehabilitation facilities (Augustyn, 2015; Baglivio & Wolff, 2017; Feld, 2017; Fine et al., 2016). Offenders serving in detention facilities are at high risk of reoffending, 2.12 times higher than those in rehabilitation services like probation and in-home arrests (Ryan et al., 2021). African Americans are vulnerable to rearrests, re-convictions, and a return to solitary prison, or relapse into incarceration, mainly as an outcome of unpreparedness to connect and incorporate themselves into the community (Baglivio & Wolff , 2017; Fine et al., 2016; Field, 2017; Western, 2006). Therefore, these findings confirm the challenges of the New Jim Crow, where incarceration is used for racial control.

This study confirms the racial profiling and race-based prejudice of African Americans (Baglivio et al., 2016; Boggs & Worthy, 2016; Sawyer & Wagner, 2020), contributing to the high risk of incarceration compared to receiving rehabilitation services. Racial basis is a major hindrance to accessing rehab services. Additionally, economic challenges or inadequate resources and lack of support contribute to inaccessibility to rehabilitation services. These findings are consistent with other studies that confirm that poverty and inadequate support by the government as contributing factors to inadequate access to rehab services (Nuo & Katz, 2018; Sanei & Mir-Khalili, 2015). Other factors like high unemployment rates and inadequate support services (Upadhyayula et al., 2015), are consistent with these findings, confirming higher differences in incarceration and rehabilitation services among African American juveniles.


Limitations of the Study

The sample size for this study is relatively small (10 participants), which affects the overall reliability of results, increasing the variability and risk of bias. Therefore, the small sample size of 10 respondents makes it difficult to confirm whether these findings are true or the results of participant bias. The sampling method (i.e., snowball sampling) adopted in this research also limited my control over the study and was likely to lead to selection bias, impeding the objectivity of the research findings. Additionally, the non-random nature of the sampling method makes it difficult to generalize findings beyond the study sample selected. Time constraint was also a major limitation in this study, required to be completed within a strict timeframe.


Recommendations

Recommendations for future research or studies include improving the reliability of the findings on this topic or related subject matter. A primary recommendation is that future studies use probabilistic techniques like the random sampling method to enhance the generalizability of the findings and their objectivity and increase the chances of each subject being selected in the sample, alleviating selection bias. Additionally, a larger sample above the current one (i.e., at least 30 participants or at least three focus groups) could increase the reliability of the findings by decreasing variability and the risk of participant bias. Future researchers should establish a clear timeline for conducting the study with clear milestones and a timeframe for completing the research.


Implications

The findings support subsequent research and can encourage effective policymaking. The study findings fill a gap in the previous literature by acknowledging the absence of therapeutic interventions for African American juveniles. The findings provide an account of the disparities between African Americans accessing rehabilitation services and those facing a jail term. This study also fills the gap in the impediments to accessing rehabilitation services. In practice, the study findings for this research are fundamental guidelines for the policymakers in the criminal justice system to blend the penal systems with the rehabilitation facilities to reduce the risks of recidivism by addressing the influential factors such as inadequate allocations, racial profiling, etc., impeding access to rehabilitation services.


Conclusions

The influx of African American juveniles in the criminal justice system and the increase in mass incarceration require intervention. According to the primary and secondary evidence, African American juveniles are at the highest risk of recidivism or reoffending due to the lack of access to rehab services that prepare them to function as important members of society. Consistent evidence from secondary and primary sources confirms incarceration as the core punishment mode at the expense of rehabilitation, aimed at correcting the offenders to be dependable societal members. Race is a central factor in the increased incidents of mass incarceration and limited rehabilitation for African American juveniles. They are vulnerable to racial profiling, system-level prejudice, and limited access to support services like a reliable educational system. Therefore, understanding these challenges and the differences between imprisonment versus rehabilitation will enhance policymaking by acknowledging such communities as underserved and putting efforts into reducing the risk of recidivism.


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Appendix: Interview Questions

1. What are the disparities between jail and youth rehabilitation for African American offenders?

2. What are some social issues that African American juveniles are faced with?

3. Why are African American male juveniles not offered other means of rehabilitative punishments?

4. What effects does existing jail and punishment system have on this population?

44

Walden University

An Examination of Police Brutality and Its Impact on Victims’ Families

by

Jamisha Denise Riddick

MS, Walden University, 2021

MS, Saint Leo University, 2019

BS, Norfolk State University, 2016

Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

Criminal Justice

Walden University

[last month of term you graduate] 20XX


Abstract




An Examination of Police Brutality and Its Impact on Victims’ Families

By

Jamisha Denise Riddick

MS, Walden University, 2021

MS, Saint Leo University, 2019

BS, Norfolk State University, 2016

Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

Criminal Justice

Walden University

[last month of term you graduate] 20XX

Dedication

Acknowledgments

Table of Contents



List of Tables





v



List of Figures





vi




Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study






1



Background of the Study





2



Problem Statement





4



Purpose of the Study





5



Research Questions





6



Theoretical Foundation





6



Nature of the Study





9



Definitions





11



Assumptions





13



Scope and Delimitations





14



Limitations





15



Significance of the Study





16



Significance to Practice





16



Significance to Theory





17



Significance to Social Change





19



Summary and Transition





20




Chapter 2: Literature Review

Literature Search Strategy

Theoretical Foundation

Conceptual Framework

Literature Review

Summary and Conclusions

Chapter 3: Research Method

Research Design and Rationale

Role of the Researcher

Methodology

Participant Selection Logic

Instrumentation

Pilot Study

Procedures for Recruitment, Participation, and Data Collection

Data Analysis Plan

Issues of Trustworthiness

Credibility

Transferability

Dependability

Confirmability

Ethical Procedures

Summary

Chapter 4: Results

Pilot Study

Research Setting

Demographics

Data Collection

Data Analysis

Evidence of Trustworthiness

Credibility

Transferability

Dependability

Confirmability

Study Results

Summary

Chapter 5: Discussion, Conclusions, and Recommendations

Interpretation of Findings

Limitations of the Study

Recommendations

Implications

Conclusions

References

Appendix A: Title of Appendix







List of Tables



Table 1
.
Sample Table Title

Table 2
.
Another Sample Table Title


List of Figures



Figure 1
.
Sample Figure Title

Figure 2
.
Another Sample Figure Title

i



Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study

Police brutality refers to the excessive use of force by law enforcement agents resulting in physical injury/harm, trauma, or death (Amnesty International, 2023). It constitutes various human rights violations by law enforcement agents, including but not limited to physical abuse, racial abuse, torture, and extrajudicial killings. In the broader scope, police brutality and police violence can be used interchangeably, constituting misconduct by the agents and violation of the code of ethics, requiring professionalism in practice and servitude to all with utmost accountability. Police violence is a major causative factor of death among American youth and young men; a 2019 study shows the likelihood of being killed by a law enforcement agent is 1 in 2000 for males and 1 in 33000 for females (Edwards et al., 2019). The group aged 20 to 35 is the most vulnerable to police violence and associated adverse outcomes such as injuries and death (Edwards et al., 2019).

Over the recent years, police brutality has remained a core mainstream political issue affecting all populations. However, the youth males and people of color are most vulnerable to police brutality and the likelihood of being killed by police compared to their white peers (Edwards et al., 2019). Besides, the recent police-perpetrated killings, such as the 2020 murder of George Floyd and the 2014 murder of Michael Brown in the United States, show persistent misconduct by the police (Amnesty International, 2023). Besides, statistics of the police violence victims show that despite African Americans constituting 13 percent of the entire population, they comprised 24% of the people murdered by law enforcement agents. Exploring this study is fundamental to enhancing accountability among the police and crucial to address the disproportionate effects of police brutality by race. Failure to address these concerns could further lead to reduced transparency in the practice of officers and cause adverse police-public relations. The central focus of this chapter is to provide the background, problem, and purpose statement of the study alongside the theoretical foundation, framework, nature, scope, and significance.


Background of the Study

Studies on police brutality and its impacts on the victims’ families are increasingly growing and have become significant in recent years following the growing awareness of police violence, especially against minority communities (Wu et al., 2023). This issue remains a center of interest following the numerous police-perpetrated deaths, including the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Eric Garner by police officers (Wu et al., 2023). Police brutality is a historically existing political issue affecting all populations in the United States. Studies estimate a high prevalence of police-perpetrated deaths at almost 30,800 deaths between 1980 and 2018. Nevertheless, consistent evidence confirms that police brutality in the United States disproportionately affects people of color compared to their white counterparts, confirming the existence of systemic racism in policing or law enforcement (GBD 2019 Police Violence U.S. Subnational Collaborators, 2021).

Schwartz (2020) confirms that police brutality is an ever-growing problem in the United States. There were approximately 996 fatal shootings by law enforcement agencies in 2018, which increased to 1004 in 2019, and by June 2020, the record had peaked at 30 shootings per 30 million population. Besides, the findings confirm the existing racial disparities in police violence whereby African Americans and other people of color are more likely to be targeted by police violence and experience the related impacts than their white counterparts (Schwartz, 2020). Additionally, sufficient evidence affirms the emotional, economic, and psychological impacts of police brutality on the victims’ families. Lee and Robinson (2019) confirm that the families of police violence victims experience challenges dealing with grief, experience trauma, and associated mental health consequences, including depression, anxiety, etc. Alang et al. (2017) ascertain that victim of police violence and their families experience high risks of adverse health outcomes associated with fatal injuries, loss, and grief, physiological responses leading to morbidity, and psychological effects such as stress. Besides, families experience financial strain with legal, medical, and funeral expenses arising from police-perpetrated violence (Alang et al., 2017).

Regardless of vast sources exploring the aspects of police brutality, there is a limited exploration of the factors influencing the decision by law enforcement agents to use excessive force. Although it is known that police brutality is increasingly rising with time, this research will seek to address a gap in the factors or the motivation of police officers to use excessive force on civilians. Exploring these factors would reveal the mediators between the antecedents (brutality) and consequences (adverse outcomes). Studies such as Alang et al. (2017) and Lee and Robinson (2019) confirm that the families of the victims of police brutality experience adverse outcomes, including financial strain to address the bills and expenses and emotional and psychological effects. However, there is limited research exploring how the experiences of the victims’ families affect their perception of the police or law enforcement agents. This study will fill the gap on the influence that the experiences of the victims’ families have on their perceptions or views about police— considering the evidence that police brutality occurs disproportionately in different races. This study will expand this section to explore the role of race in police violence or brutality.

This study is necessary to enhance awareness of the policy brutality issue and its impacts on the victims’ families to advance the public understanding of the adverse outcomes of police brutality. Therefore, this study will form the preliminary phase of promoting systemic change and reforms. Notably, this study is relevant to form an integral part of policy support and decision-making. Exploring the physical, emotional, and financial harm from police brutality would be core to promoting justice and compensation for the victims. This study is needed to provide insights into the support the victims’ families require, including but not limited to counseling services, legal assistance, and financial support. Besides, it is necessary to promote reforms in policing to enhance the accountability of law enforcement agencies, improve ethics-based police training and promote community policing initiatives to advance police-public relations positively.


Problem Statement

The problem is that police brutality is a pervasive issue associated with physical harm, adverse psychological outcomes, or even death due to the excessive use of force by police officers or law enforcement agents. Police brutality is a public health issue associated with a high risk of death and injury, reduced safety, and the possibility of survival (i.e., survivability) (Obasogie & Newman, 2017). Obasogie and Newman (2017) confirm police brutality as an outcome of the system’s weaknesses or failures to establish the minimum protections to overcome the epidemic of police violence based on the force policies guaranteeing officers to use it against civilians. Edwards et al. (2019) affirm that police brutality is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, especially the male youth (aged between 25 to 35 years).

With the efforts to address racial discrimination and inequalities in the United States, correcting this problem would require system-based solutions. Edwards et al. (2019) and Obasogie and Newman (2017) affirm that police brutality is a racialized problem, affecting people of color more than other races. At least 1 out of 1000 black men in the United States is at high risk of murder by law enforcement agents. Racially, people of color (i.e., Blacks, Latinos, American Indians, or Natives, etc.) are vulnerable to police-perpetrated murder compared to their white counterparts (Edwards et al., 2019). The racialized nature of police brutality shows the existence of systemic racism and disparities, which form the ground for social justice and societal change by addressing system-level inadequacies.


Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to explore police brutality and its impacts on the victims’ families. Police brutality is the phenomenon of interest in this paper, crucial to understanding the background of police brutality or violence, the mediating factors, and the overall impacts of this issue. This study will adopt a constructivist research paradigm, which is crucial to forming the social and cultural contexts that shape an individual’s experiences. In this context of police brutality and the purpose of exploring the phenomenon of police violence, the constructivism paradigm will enhance the exploration of how social and cultural factors such as race, class, and ethnicity shape the victims’ families’ experiences. This would form the ground for exploring how racial biases, systemic inequalities, and public-police relations dictate the behavior and practices of the police (Obasogie & Newman, 2017). With the intent to explore a phenomenon (i.e., police violence) and subjective experiences with victims and their families, this study will adopt a qualitative research methodology in gathering evidence.


Research Questions

i. What drives police to use excessive force?

ii. How has the family experience impacted their perception of the police? 

iii. How does race play a critical role in police brutality?


Theoretical Foundation

Three core theories of interest in this study (i.e., the social learning theory, critical race theory, and social identity theory) provide the theoretical foundation for exploring police violence, the racial aspect of the issue, and perceptions among the victims. The social learning theory is the central theory of interest, confirming that individuals learn and exhibit behaviors through observation and modeling. Albert Bandura first coined the social learning theory in 1963 to extend the exploration of conventional behaviorist theories. According to this theory in his book “Social learning and personality development,” social learning occurs through the interrelation of environmental, personal, and behavioral factors (Bandura & Walters, 1963). The core proposition of the social learning theory is that human behavior results as an outcome of the interplay between environmental, cognitive, and behavioral factors. Therefore, according to Bandura’s theory of social learning, learning occurs by observing and imitating (i.e., modeling) other people’s behavior and the consequences of their actions. Furthermore, cognitive, and emotional factors, including perceptions and attitudes, contribute to the whole learning process. Another fundamental proposition of the social learning theory is that behavior is reinforced or motivated by social reinforcements, and the social and cultural contexts influence an individual’s learning and behavior (Bandura & Walters, 1963).

In the context of the issue (i.e., police violence) addressed in this study, Bandura’s social learning theory provides a fundamental foundation for understanding what motivates law enforcement agents to violate human rights (Onwunyirimadu, 2022). This theory will form the background for exploring how the police officer embraces violent behavior through factors such as media portrayal of violent policing, learning through other officers using excessive force or social reinforcement like positive feedback, etc. (Onwunyirimadu, 2022). Bandura’s social learning theory will help answer the first research question on driving factors to police brutality by exploring how officers learn aggressive behaviors through observation, imitation, or reinforcement. 

The critical race theory will also form the theoretical foundation of this theory, crucial in exploring how race and racism shape social structures and power dynamics. Critical race theory (CRT) emerged in the United States in the late 1970s and early 80s as a response to the limitations of the traditional approaches in civil rights to address racism. It is traceable to the legal scholars and activists who sought to establish why the traditional civil rights strategies failed to achieve positive change for marginalized communities. Matsuda et al.’s 1993 book “Words That Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech, and the First Amendment” is one of the earliest influential sources in developing critical race theory (CRT). One of the fundamental propositions in the CRT is that racism is not just an individual problem, but an issue entrenched in the societies’ social structures and institutions. Furthermore, CRT proposes that the system and social structures often perpetuate and reinforce racism instead of addressing it. A core proposition under CRT is that racism is deep-rooted in the social, legal, and political structures which shape the experiences of minority communities (Matsuda et al., 1993). 

In the context of police brutality, the critical race theory will be useful in identifying the contribution of racial biases and stereotypes on the disproportionate use of excessive force among people of color, especially African American, and the impacts of police violence on these communities (Angus & Crichlow, 2018). CRT will be relevant to answering the third question on the role of race in police brutality to examine the discriminatory harassment and brutality against people of color by police. This theory will be integral to providing a background on racially motivated violence and misconduct by law enforcement agents (Angus & Crichlow, 2018).

The social identity theory (SIT) will form the third theory of interest to guide the theoretical foundation of this study, revealing how people form the sense of their self and identity. SIT was founded by Tajfel and his colleague, coined in the resources “The achievement of inter-group differentiation” in 1978 and “An integrative theory of inter-group conflict” in 1979. The theorists sought to understand the process of forming and maintaining an identity and how such identity influences the individual’s behaviors and relations (Tajfel, 1978; Tajfel & Turner, 1979). A major proposition in this theory is that people form identity through group membership, influencing their personal feelings and perceptions towards their members. Furthermore, an individual’s social identity depends on the context, and they strive to differentiate their groups from others, steering intergroup discrimination and conflicts.

In the context of police brutality and its impacts on the victims’ families, the social identity theory could be fundamental to exploring how law enforcement agents identify themselves as law defenders and the victims’ families as marginalized groups. This theory will form the background for answering the second research question on how families’ experiences with police brutality impact their perception. SIT will be integral to exploring how victims’ families create a sense of identity and how such experiences with police violence shape their perceptions and sense of identity and belonging (Oliveira & Murphy, 2014). These three theories are fundamental in the qualitative approach of this research as they provide an opportunity to explore the subjective factors contributing to police brutality and subjective experiences with police-perpetrated violence.


Nature of the Study

A phenomenological research design is selected for this study, considering the effectiveness of this design in providing an in-depth account of people’s experiences. Notably, a phenomenological design is integral for this study for exploring subjective experiences, encounters, and individual perspectives to enhance an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon of interest (Sholokhova et al., 2022). Police brutality is a highly emotional and traumatic occurrence that can have long-term and profound consequences for victims’ families, including psychological distress, trauma, and skepticism of law enforcement. A phenomenological design allows researchers to delve deeply into these experiences, gaining a better understanding of how people make sense of and cope with traumatic events.

Furthermore, considering the sensitivity of the police violence issue, research bias and preconceptions of predispositions are common problems that would impact the credibility of the overall outcomes. As a result, a phenomenological design is selected for this study as it allows the researcher to set aside the individual preconceived biases and perceptions as they approach the subjects open-mindedly and avoid making assumptions regarding their experiences and viewpoints (Sholokhova et al., 2022). Overall, this design allows for examining the significance and value of these experiences for the persons involved, providing insightful information that can be used to inform practices and policies aimed at combating police brutality and assisting victims’ families.

The key concept or phenomenon explored in this study is police brutality and its impact on victims’ families. Notably, the three areas of interest include the motivating factors that drive police to use excessive force against unharmed civilians, the role of race on such motivations, and the impacts such experiences have on victim families’ perception of law enforcement. This study will embrace a qualitative methodology; the sample will be recruited using purposive sampling for its cost-effectiveness and considering there are limited primary sources to contribute to this study due to its traumatic nature. The data will be collected using semi-structured interviews, allowing the subjects to share their perceptions, subjective experiences, and in-depth explanations of police violence. The interviews will be audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed thematically to establish common patterns and themes of the people’s experiences and perceptions of police brutality. Afterward, the findings will be presented narratively for a comprehensive and rich account of police brutality and its impacts on the victims’ families.


Definitions

Accountability: The obligation of law enforcement officers to account for their actions and decisions and be answerable for any violations of the law or agency policy (Krinsky & Phares, 2019).

Community policing: A law enforcement tactic that emphasizes the development of positive public-police relations with the communities they serve, as well as the involvement of community members in identifying and resolving public safety issues (Frazer et al., 2018). 

Culture: The set of shared values, beliefs, and behaviors that shape police officers’ attitudes and actions toward the public (Davis, 2019).

Implicit bias: Unconscious perceptions or preconceptions that influence a person’s attitude, behavior, and judgment, frequently based on social categories such as race or gender (Davis, 2019).

Misconduct: Behavior by law enforcement agents that violates ethical or legal standards, including but not limited to falsifying evidence, use of excessively unreasonable force, prejudice, or discrimination (Frazer et al., 2018).     

Police brutality: It refers to the excessive use and unreasonable force by law enforcement agents toward unarmed civilians in a police-public interaction (Frazer et al., 2018). 

Racial profiling: It is the practice of law enforcement agents targeting persons based on their race, ethnicity, and nation of origin rather than the individual’s suspected criminal behavior (Davis, 2019).  

Restorative justice: A strategy for fair treatment that focuses on repairing injury and reconstruction of relationships between victims, offenders, and the community rather than solely punishing offenders (Frazer et al., 2018).

Use of force: A police officer uses physical coercion or violence in a given scenario, from verbal commands to lethal force (Davis, 2019).

Victim advocacy: The practice of providing crime victims and their families with support, resources, and services such as emotional support, legal assistance, and referrals to community resources (Krinsky & Phares, 2019).

Victims’ families: This refers to the individuals directly impacted by police brutality, including the relatives and family members of those murdered, injured, or harmed otherwise by the police (Krinsky & Phares, 2019).


Assumptions

A first assumption for this study is that the participants will express the utmost willingness to discuss their experiences of police brutality as victims of violence or witness to violence (especially for the agents recruited in this study). This assumption is necessary for the context of this study, considering that the participants might be uncomfortable sharing their experiences or fear retaliation for their speaking out.

Secondly, this paper assumes that the information provided by the participants is honest and accurate about the individual’s experiences with police violence. The recruits can provide incomplete or inaccurate information, depending on the factors such as memory recall, social desirability bias, or fear of retribution/reprisal. This second assumption is core to enhancing the credibility of the information provided in this study.

The third assumption in this research is that the interpretation of the data will correctly reflect the participant’s experiences. This assumption is fundamental for this study, considering that the researcher’s personal bias and preconceptions of police brutality can influence the interpretation of data. Overall, this assumption shields the whole research from biases, enhancing the credibility and trustworthiness of the study outcomes.

Lastly, the fourth assumption is that the participants have a clear and full understanding of what constitutes police violence or brutality, including using unreasonable force. This assumption acknowledges that police brutality could be a relative experience, influencing responses to individual experiences. These four core assumptions are integral to this study as they acknowledge the possible limitations, highlighting the need for maintaining ethical practices throughout the research process.


Scope and Delimitations

This study will explore two core areas; the first relates to police brutality, and the second is its impact on the victim’s families. Furthermore, regarding police brutality, this research will examine the factors driving law enforcement agents to use excessive force against unarmed civilians. The focus of this subsection will examine the motivations and ways police officers learn to use excessive force, relying on Bandura’s social learning theory. This focus will be integral to providing this research with the motivating factors of police violence to address the problem from the root. In exploring police brutality, this paper will also focus on the racial aspect of police violence. This focus is fundamental to establishing the racial prejudices/biases and discrimination that trigger the disproportionate use of force by police officers. Furthermore, this focus will also help explore the aspects of racial profiling and discrimination by law enforcement agents against people of specific ethnic groups or races. It is essential to acknowledge that this study will further explore the impacts of police brutality, specifically on the victim’s families in the United States, considering this issue is prevalent in the selected setting.

The study will include the victim’s families who have experienced or been affected by police brutality and the law enforcement agents who have witnessed the incidents of police violence. Notably, the study will exclude the experiences of the victim’s families who have not reported or publicized their experience with police violence. The theories or frameworks, such as broken windows theory or institutional racism that relate to the issue of police brutality will not be incorporated into the study or investigated. This research will be transferable within the settings in the United States, considering the possible homogeneity of practices and commonality within the systems across the states. However, considering the differences in the social and cultural factors that influence different perceptions and experiences of police violence, this study may not be transferable to other countries and regions.


Limitations




Reliance on small sample size is a major limitation of this study. A phenomenological research design uses a relatively small sample due to the in-depth and comprehensive nature of the interviews. Although this provides a rich and detailed exploration of the experiences and perceptions of the participants, the findings may not be generalizable to the larger population in the United States. Subjectivity is another major limitation considering that phenomenological research is subjective, relying on the participants’ individual experiences and interpretations of their experiences. Furthermore, considering the freedom to incorporate personal experiences and perceptions in this study, this study would experience the researcher’s subjectivity in data analysis and interpretation.

It is essential to acknowledge that this paper would experience a dependability issue, entailing the challenge of ensuring consistency and reliability throughout the research. The small sample size and subjectivity of the phenomenological research would make the findings of this study not transferable to other settings, contexts, and populations. Recruitment bias is another potential problem with the study due to the reliance on purposive sampling. Using the purposive sampling technique, the participants who are willing and able to share their perceptions and experiences with police brutality might be overrepresented.

Thus, to ensure the credibility of this research, these limitations can be addressed in numerous ways. For example, to overcome recruitment bias, this study recruits a sample from diverse backgrounds and with different experiences. In other studies, it can be addressed by integrating probabilistic sampling techniques such as simple random sampling to ensure objectivity in sample selection. Additionally, addressing the subjectivity issue would require the researcher to engage in reflexive practices in the study, such as bracketing personal biases and assumptions and seeking peer feedback on the research. It is essential to accurately document the procedures and decisions within the research and integrate member checking to enhance the accuracy and credibility for improved dependability and transferability of the findings (Birt et al., 2016).


Significance of the Study



Significance to Practice

This study has important implications for law enforcement, social work, and mental health practice. One of the fundamental implications of this research is that it can provide a background for promoting accountability and positive police-public relations. For example, the findings from this study will be fundamental to reorganizing the systems in law enforcement agencies to embrace public-centric strategies and cultivate an environment for the agents that discourages rather than reinforces police-perpetrated murders or police brutality. Policymakers can use these study findings to develop policies that address police violence and promote accountability by establishing ethics-guided systems. Understanding the impact of police brutality on victims’ families allows law enforcement agencies to develop policies and procedures that are more responsive to the needs of victims’ families. For example, agencies can create training programs to help officers understand and fulfill the demands of victims’ families. Furthermore, the study’s findings can help law enforcement departments establish more efficient methods of investigating and responding to accusations of police violence.

Besides, the research findings in this study are fundamental for restorative justice initiatives and enhance positive public perceptions about the police by implementing evidence-based policies and initiatives that promote justice. The findings of this study can also be used by social workers and mental health providers to support better families affected by police brutality and to develop interventions to mitigate the detrimental effect of this experience on families. Social workers and mental health professionals can use the study’s findings to develop interventions that address victims’ families’ emotional and psychological needs. Social workers can offer to counsel to families who have been affected by police brutality, while psychologists can help traumatized families.


Significance to Theory

This study has the potential to advance social learning theory by investigating how people learn and develop attitudes and behaviors toward law enforcement and police brutality. The study can help researchers gain a better understanding of the factors that led police to use excessive force, as well as the effects that these acts have on victims’ families. Furthermore, understanding these factors would be integral to exploring the motivations (i.e., social reinforcements), the contribution of the environmental factors, and the driving motives of the law enforcement agents using excessive force. This understanding of the motivating factors can help researchers establish theories to explain the relationship between police officers and victims’ families and recommend policies and evidence-based interventions to avert police brutality.

The findings of this study will help us better understand how police brutality affects victims’ families’ attitudes and beliefs about law enforcement. This is an opportunity to explore how individual experiences dictate their perceptions regarding law enforcement agencies. This study will be crucial to advance the social identity theory, establishing how police violence could trigger intergroup conflicts and identity crises, which could elicit different and unfavorable perceptions between the public and police officers. Furthermore, this research can help to develop a more insightful comprehension of the connection between race and police brutality. The findings can assist researchers and practitioners in a greater understanding of how race interacts with other variables that influence the likelihood of police misconduct. This study’s outcomes will provide an opportunity to expand the aspects of critical race theory in the context of police brutality. It will help identify how systemic racism and bias in law enforcement influences racially perpetrated police violence and how it triggers prejudiced perceptions. Overall, the research findings will help establish a connection between race, ethnicity, and police brutality, which is crucial to promote policies and interventions that address racial bias, and profiling in law enforcement.


Significance to Social Change

This study’s findings will be core to raising awareness about police brutality and its impacts on the families of the victims and the larger community. Enhancing public awareness is core to heightening public concerns for reforms and accountability within law enforcement agencies. It will shed light on the public ways police brutality continually perpetuates systemic oppression and inequities. This study can help develop policies and interventions that promote the worth, dignity, and development of people and communities affected by police brutality by better understanding the experiences of victims’ families.

This study’s findings are fundamental to promoting positive social change. For example, this research can help the larger social justice movement address systemic racism and bias in law enforcement while also promoting accountability and transparency in the practices of the police. Furthermore, these findings provide comprehensive insights into the driving forces for police officers to use excessive force, as well as t impact of police brutality on victims’ families. Based on these assertions, policymakers can promote positive social change by identifying and developing effective systems for investigating and addressing accusations of police violence and implementing interventions to support victims’ families.

This research can help to promote positive social change by expanding our comprehension of the intricate relationships between law enforcement, victims’ families, and broader societal structures. This study can provide insight into how experiences are shaped by broader social, cultural, and historical factors by examining the impact of police brutality through a social learning lens. This understanding can guide efforts to promote more equitable and just policies and practices and help promote more appropriate interventions to address systemic racism and bias in law enforcement. Overall, by enhancing the understanding of police brutality and its impacts on victims’ families, it is possible to promote positive social change by establishing evidence-based policies and interventions for addressing the core issue and enhancing accounting in law enforcement agencies.


Summary and Transition

This chapter focused on investigating police brutality and its impact on victims’ families. The problem statement emphasized the prevalence of police brutality, particularly in communities of color, and the scarcity of research on the impact of police brutality on victims’ families. The social learning theory, critical race theory, and social identity theory were identified as the theoretical foundation for investigating the research questions. These questions included understanding the drivers of police brutality, the impact of police brutality on victims’ families, and the role of race in police brutality.

A phenomenological approach was chosen for the research design, which will involve data collection through in-depth interviews with victims’ families affected by police brutality. Police brutality, excessive force, trauma, and systemic oppression were the key concepts and constructs defined. The study’s importance in advancing practice, theory, and positive social change was discussed. The study’s potential contributions include raising awareness of the consequences of police brutality, informing evidence-based policies and interventions, and promoting a more comprehensive understanding of the complex relationships between law enforcement, victims’ families, and larger societal structures.




Following the establishment of the problem statement, research questions, theoretical foundations, and study significance in Chapter 1, the next step in this research is to review the existing literature on police brutality and its impact on victims’ families. The second chapter will thoroughly review the literature to determine the current state of knowledge on this subject. The literature review will specifically look at the prevalence and scope of police brutality, the impact of police brutality on victims’ families, and the factors that contribute to police brutality. Based on evidence from peer-reviewed journal articles, books, credible sources, and government reports, the literature review will explore the studies conducted in the United States, providing a relevant history and context of policing in the country.

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