The Delphi survey method applies the principle of decision making from a groups’ point of view (Zaloom, & Subhedar, 2011). This method is based on a planned communication approach. It is developed to be an interactive forecasting process that is systematic and relies on a team of experts. The specialists are expected to provide answers to questionnaires in more than two rounds (Zaloom, & Subhedar, 2011).

A facilitator is used to provide anonymous review of the experts answer to the previous questionnaires before repeating the process. This allows the specialists to enrich their answers (Zaloom, & Subhedar, 2011). The process is repeated as the range of the answers reduces until the correct answer is arrived at.

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The process reaches a conclusion once the predefined conditions for stopping are attained. These conditions include steadiness of the results, the number of rounds, and the realization of compromise (Zaloom, & Subhedar, 2011). Since this method has a capability of forecasting and offering an insight into event prediction, it can be used as a prospect research approach in the criminal justice system (Zaloom, & Subhedar, 2011).

The Delphi survey in criminal justice system

Delphi method can be applied in proliferation of future settings in a criminal justice system based on the analysis of a consensus of the experts in the field of criminal justice (GAO, 2013).

This is possible due to the complexity of the method that makes it very reliable. The method applies two constituents. The first constituent is anonymity amid the faction affiliates. This encourages diversity in the opinions raised by the group members. The cluster members present their arguments strictly based on their expertise, the colleagues in the group do not influence them. The other constituent of this method is restricted response, where the group members’ answers are reviewed and supplied back to the cluster. Each of the members is then asked to reconsider his/her response based on the other members’ answers.

Generally, this method is a controlled debate on a certain topic of interest (Zaloom, & Subhedar, 2011).

The technique

Delphi method is therefore a procedure that can review the probability of certain events resulting to risk in any security situation (GAO, 2013). The use of a Delphi team in ranking the riskiness of events has proven to be a very effective tool in predicting and hence controlling the risk factors.

The application of this technique to crime preventive measure can help reduce instances of crimes being committed as the crimes become more predictable (GAO, 2013). The use of the expert consensus system enables the detection and prioritization of any events that could result to crimes being committed or a criminal evading the justice system (GAO, 2013). This technique offers a means of classifying criminal activities and hence enabling a more informed approach in handling the cases. Research studies conducted on the application of the Delphi survey method revealed that subjective judgment derived from a groups’ agreement is essential in the provision of a wide range of knowledge (Zaloom, & Subhedar, 2011). This knowledge can be used to enhance the evaluation of the security risks of any event.


The use of this method of survey is therefore very important in the criminal justice system of any country. The method can be used for real time crime investigation as well as crime forecasting methods (GAO, 2013). In real time scenarios, the use of the Delphi method on the witnessed can provide a very substantial evidence analysis method that allows the witnesses to agree or disagree until the correct information is attained.

The method’s use of anonymity on the participants of the questionnaire makes it an effective tool for crime investigation (GAO, 2013).


GAO. (2013). Sustained and Coordinated Efforts Could Facilitate Data Sharing While Protecting Privacy. Retrieved Feb. 26, 2013, from

pdf Zaloom, V. & Subhedar, V. (2011).

Use of the Delphi Method to Prioritize Events Impacting Operations in the Maritime Domain. Retrieved Feb. 26, 2013, from


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