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Examining the Criminal Justice and Criminological Paradigms: An Analysis of ACJS (Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences) and ASC (American Society of Criminology) Members

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Education Volume: 5 Issue: 2 Dated: (Fall 1994) Pages: 149-166
J R Sorensen; A G Widmayer; F R Scarpitti
Date Published
18 pages
In an effort to determine the extent of convergence and divergence between criminologists and criminal justicians, this study examined the characteristics of members of their respective professional associations, the American Society of Criminology (ASC) and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS).
Data were obtained from a stratified sample of members of the two associations through a questionnaire. The questionnaire focused on background characteristics, institutional characteristics, academic workload, workstyle attitudes, and professional achievements. Regarding background, those in ACJS more often have criminal justice agency experience and are likely to have received their training in criminal justice or other practically oriented disciplines such as law and public administration. They more often teach primarily undergraduates and master's degree students in criminal justice departments at institutions that emphasize teaching over research. ACJS members spend most of their time in teaching and advising. They spend less time on research, believe that it is less important, and publish less than ASC dual members. ASC members are more likely to have been trained in sociology. They teach more often in departments of sociology and in institutions that offer doctorates and emphasize research. These respondents spend more time on research than on any other activity, and they rate research and publishing as most important. Data on those with membership in both societies, however, show support for the convergence hypothesis. These dual members suggest the emergence of a third paradigm, which emphasizes both the practice of criminal justice professions and the importance of basing practice in knowledge gained from criminological research. 24 references