Research Methodologies

Survey Methods

The Institute has expertise in the design and implementation of telephone, mail or other self-completed surveys, and of in-person individual or focus group interviews. We have worked with partners to survey a variety of subject populations including community members, agency line personnel and command staff, elected and appointed officials, prisoners, and service recipients. Our expertise in survey design, sampling strategies and analytical techniques allows us to provide our partners with unbiased and accurate information to achieve their organizational goals.

Statistical Analysis

The Institute’s staff employs a variety of statistical techniques of analysis as appropriate and necessary, including univariate and bivariate tabulation, correlations, various forms of regression analysis, and interrupted time series analysis. Our choice of analytical methods is driven by analytical demands, though our choice of presentational methods is driven by an affinity for simplicity.

Mapping and Spatial Analysis

The Institute’s staff uses geographic information systems to map and analyze crime, disorder, and other phenomena as needed. Maps have enormous appeal at an intuitive level, and given the geographic features of public safety problems and criminal justice operations, spatial analysis is essential as a complement to statistical analysis.

Qualitative Analysis

The Institute has staff who are formally trained and experienced in qualitative study design, data coding, and analysis. We have expertise in collecting data, selecting the best theoretical approach to guide data analysis, developing data coding schemes, and writing up results and conclusions. In many instances we conduct mixed methods research and integrate the rich descriptive detail afforded through qualitative data and analysis with findings from quantitative data and analysis.

Administrative Data Coding and Analysis

The Institute has expertise in performing analysis using data stored in the administrative databases of multiple public agencies (e.g. probation, police, courts) using a variety of statistical tools. We are experienced in extracting and cleaning needed data fields while protecting the privacy of the individuals represented in the datasets. Analysis of administrative data is generally an economical approach to assessing outcomes and for generating statistically robust findings.