Field research has become quite popular in the field of criminal justice and criminology. It happens due to the fact that field research offers a series of advantages that other forms of research fail to provide with. First of all, field research allows one to collect the non-verbal data through observation, which in turn gives an opportunity to perform a more comprehensive analysis of the research problem. Secondly, it is a flexible form of research that takes into consideration the setting around the subjects, as well as the social processes that they are engaged in. In other words, field research enables to carry out an unbiased observation of individuals’ behavior (their social processes) and how it can be conditioned by their surrounding environment. Of course, there are certain disadvantages that are associated with field research, including the following: logistics complication; time-consuming process; difficulties for research analysis (only if he or she also participates/interacts with the test subjects); possibility of biased analysis (in cases of the direct interaction between researchers and subjects, e.g., focus groups).
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Despite disadvantages highlighted above, field research stands out as a highly appealing (and effective) form of research for studying the effects of alcohol, depression, and education on recidivism. In the end, the objective is to determine the correlation between these factors so that effective treatment options for the reduction of recidivism can be developed and implemented. Field research can be particularly helpful because it facilitates the direct observation of people who commit recidivism. These subjects are the only ones who can actually clarify which effect alcohol, depression, and education have no recidivism. Therefore, it would be highly important for the researchers to interview and observer recidivists. For example, focus groups could be conducted in order to determine which factors are responsible for their recidivism. One study conducted in Norway found that 73% of inmates recognized that they were at risk of reoffending if released; 69% of inmates further stated that the rehabilitation programs offered to them were highly ineffective (Viriy, 2011, p. 2). This kind of information can only be obtained through field research; this is why it is so important for studying the recidivism phenomenon.
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