Survey Research and Focus Groups

JMI has been involved in several research and evaluation projects that have utilized intensive survey research and focus groups. JMI’s methodology for conducting surveys is through the sampling of respondents and asking the sample group to complete a questionnaire and/or participate in an interview or focus group. Survey research is a preferred method when working to aggregate quantitative information about the attitudes of those connected to the activity or program that is being evaluated. It is a great method to determine the thoughts and feelings of the people who are involved with the project.

Project Highlights

Perceived or Real:  Assessing the CSI Effect for Prosecutors

A number of hypotheses loosely referred to as the crime scene investigation (CSI) effect suggest that the television program and its spin-offs, which wildly exaggerate and glorify forensic science, affect the public, and in turn affect trials either by burdening the prosecution by creating greater expectations about forensic science than can be delivered, or by burdening the defense by creating exaggerated faith in the capabilities and reliability of the forensic sciences. In 2010 and through grant funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, JMI explored the CSI effect with the goal to increase the understanding of how the CSI effect plays out in juror and prosecutorial decision-making.

Ensuring a Reliable and Effective Criminal Justice System

JMI published a report in 2005 as the final product of a project which was funded by the Open Society Institute and done in collaboration with the American Judicature Society and The National Judicial College. The objective was to raise consciousness about the problem of wrongful convictions on the part of leading criminal justice policy-makers and practitioners, and to stimulate the development of action plans aimed at addressing the systemic flaws that can lead to wrongful convictions. The report summarizes the work of the project, provides information about initial impacts of the project and makes recommendations for further improvements. Read more . . .

Strengthening Rural Courts

Through funds from the State Justice Institute and in partnership with the National Association for Court Management and The National Judicial College, JMI submitted a report which focused on strengthening the ability of state court systems and rural court leaders to improve court operations in their jurisdictions. The report outlines a model curriculum based on issues and priorities for rural courts as determined from a scan of rural courts. Read more . . .

OJP (Office of Justice Programs) Initiative on the Courts and the Justice System

The 2001 report outlines key themes and ideas that emerged from discussions at a meeting held in Washington, D.C. in February 2000, to help develop initial plans for a “Courts and the Justice System” initiative. The meeting was jointly sponsored by the Assistant Attorney General of OJP and the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and was organized by JMI. Read more . . .

Aimee WickmanSurvey Research and Focus Groups