Research in Criminal Justice


Researchin Criminal Justice

Researchin Criminal Justice

Theimportance of research cannot be gainsaid as far as the continuityand sustainability of any field is concerned. Indeed, it has beenwell acknowledged that research allows for the discovery of newtechniques of doing things, as well as providing solutions forexisting problems. This implies that research would enable anyinstitution and field to adapt to new environments and grow togreater heights at any given time as it would have informationregarding varied circumstances (Blum,2009).In the case of criminal justice, research plays a fundamental role asit allows for the administration of justice so as to allow law andorder in the society. A large proportion of this research is,undoubtedly, put in writing. While this is often desirable, anywritten research can be compromised in instances where the works havebeen plagiarized. Plagiarism underlines the taking up of anotherindividual’s words and ideas from another source and presenting thesame as one’s own without giving due credit to the original oractual author. Of particular note is the fact that plagiarism is seenas an element of academic dishonesty especially in academicinstitutions, where students may have punishment meted on them invaried forms including the cancellation of the works or even theexpulsion from such institution. Of course, this would also be thesame in the case of criminal justice research. However, few peoplehave explored the effects that plagiarism would have on securitymanagement or criminal justice writing and research. Needless to say,plagiarism undermines the criminal justice and security managementresearch and writing.

First,plagiarism can damage the reputation of an institution. Of course, itmay be difficult for plagiarism from one student to have such effectson the reputation of the school. However, rampant and systemic casesof plagiarism would, with no doubt, have a negative effect on thereputation of the academic institution. In instances whereindividuals regularly or routinely plagiarize and often, get awaywith it, it would devalue the quality of degrees that the school isoffering. This means that the criminal justice course offered wouldnot have any material value, in which case the research carried outin the same field in the institution would be rendered useless (Blum,2009).Of particular note is the fact that once an institution has beenscarred with allegations of plagiarism, academic careers would beruined alongside the publishing capability of the individual and theinstitution. The loss of such publishing capability would mean thatthe reputation would be destroyed and the academic position of theinstitution put to an end.

Inaddition, plagiarism may have legal (and financial) repercussions onresearch and writing in these fields. The seriousness of legalrepercussions is underlined by the absolute nature of copyright lawsespecially in the United States. One must never use another person’smaterial without proper referencing and citation as a way of givingcredit to the actual or original author (Blum,2009).Original authors would undoubtedly have the right to sue individualswho plagiarize their works, with some of this being seen as acriminal offense that could result in prison sentences. Indeed,plagiarism is not only an ethical issue but also a legal one. Ofparticular note is the fact that actual authors may be offeredmonetary restitution as a way of eliminating the charges that helevies against the plagiarist (Wheeler, 2009). Needless to say,having such efforts and financial resources used in eliminating thelegal repercussions is wasteful as it could be used in enhancingfurther research work that would improve the efficiency ofinstitutions in criminal justice and security management. This canonly mean that plagiarism results in wasteful use of resources,thereby crippling research and writing in criminal justice andsecurity management.

Inaddition, plagiarism would have a negative effect on the individualand the research and writing that he or she has done in theinstitution. As much as it is often difficult to quantify the impactor effects that plagiarism would have on value systems pertaining tothe youth population or even the cultural model pertaining to theaffected country or region, it is well acknowledged that theindividuals who participate in the activity would leave theinstitution with questionable ethical foundations, as well as poorwork habits (Wheeler, 2009). This means that, even in instances wherean individual is not immediately caught, the future of the academicintegrity would be immensely affected in the long-term, especiallyconsidering that individuals who refer to such written works in thefuture will never know the real authors. This implies that the creditwould go to the wrong individuals who are yet to earn such honors, orhave obtained them in dishonest manners (East, 2009). Of course, thismeans that future research and writing in criminal justice andsecurity management would be crippled.

Further,it goes without saying that plagiarism would have a negative effecton the original author. More often than not, research work involvesyears of study and dedication towards solving particular issues(East, 2009). Such efforts can never be sufficiently compensated inmonetary form rather the only compensation that comes close is givingthe author credit. Unfortunately, this is robbed off the originalauthor in instances where such works are used without giving creditto the actual author. Of particular note is that a large number ofthese actual authors may never pursue legal means (Wheeler, 2009).However, plagiarism demoralizes them and possibly cripples theirfuture works as this means that their efforts are coming to a naught.The long-term effects of this action is that individuals would nothave the incentive or impetus to pursue further research and writingin security management and criminal justice, which, therefore,cripples the adaptability and sustainability of these fields in thefuture (Wheeler, 2009).

In conclusion, plagiarism has been a rampant vice in the contemporaryhuman society. This may have been promoted by the increasedavailability of information, as well as the ease of copying andpasting materials in the age of computers and ms word processingsoftware. While quite ignored, the effects of this practice onresearch and writing in varied fields are far reaching. Not onlywould there be financial consequences especially where the authorstake legal action, but the future of research and writing in theseand other fields would be immensely affected. Indeed, few authors andresearchers would have the impetus and incentive to continue withsuch works in instances where their efforts are misused with recklessabandon (Blum,2009).Further, the quality of future works would be affected especiallyconsidering that future researchers in such fields would not have themoral authority and foundation to be in such positions.


Blum,S. D. (2009).&nbspMyword!: Plagiarism and college culture.Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

East,J (2009). Judging plagiarism: A problem of morality and convention.HigherEducation,pp. 1-15,

Wheeler,W. (2009). Plagiarism in the Japanese universities: Truly a culturalmatter? Journalof Second Language Writing,vol. 18, pp. 17-29