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Noble Cause: An Empirical Assessment

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 35 Issue: 1 Dated: January/February 2007 Pages: 103-116
Date Published
January 2007
14 pages

This study conducted an empirical analysis of the noble cause, a term employed to describe a utilitarian orientation toward crime control, in a specific research setting.


When measured, the noble cause looked a bit less delicate and encompassing than its literary counterpart. Results revealed a multidimensional latent structure composed of three factors. The findings did not support the presence of a link between measures of the noble cause and crime. A positive, yet inconsistent relationship was found between measures of the noble cause and deputies’ attitudes toward administrators. In recent years, the good end has been referred to as the noble cause. Simply put, the noble cause is getting bad guys off the street. The common theme shared in both is a moral conviction associated with the public safety function of police work emphasizing ends-oriented action. This study assessed four empirical issues related to the noble cause. The first regards the presence of attitudes in support of the noble cause. Second, is the noble cause one-dimensional or are there different kinds of noble cause. Third, to what extent is the noble cause associated with perceived levels of crime and disorder. Fourth and lastly, are attitudes in support of the noble cause associated with officers’ views toward their administrators? Tables, appendix, and references

Date Published: January 1, 2007