Methodology – Phase 1

Phase 1

The previous project, “The Evolution of Western Criminal Justice Policy in a World of Increasing Social Exclusion” (2013-2016), identified 236 items consisting of punitive rules and practices that seemed to be appropriate for identifying effects of social exclusion on the project’s target groups.

These 236 items must be examined against the criteria of completeness (importance of the data), extension (that the aspect is not too specific), ease of access (that the information is relatively simple to obtain), discrimination capacity (it permits differentiation among Western developed countries) and clarity (the item can be easily understood).

For this task, the research and work team is divided into two groups and distributed according to the participant’s expertise in the different pools of the theoretical model. This is assesed using the Delphi qualitative method, which consists of asking each member about his or her degree of knowledge and experience.

At the same time, two questionnaires are designed, each of which contains half of the 236 items initially selected. Each questionnaire is assigned to one of the groups and participants should give a score of 1 to 5 to each evaluation criterion for each of the 118 items.

The results obtained from both questionnaires make it possible to eliminate those items which, in the opinion of the group, display less completeness, extension, ease of access, discrimination capacity and clarity. On the other hand, the items scoring  3 or more in all the criteria are kept. When there is doubt regarding an item, the participants meet to discuss it and decide jointly if it should be accepted or rejected.

In this way the participants agree on a number of items (rules and practices) that remains numerous but is now more solid, which will be the one that undergoes, in the next phase, validation by international experts.

Next phase: validation of the instrument by international experts [read more]