Criminal Justice Paper

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CRMJ-400 PREPARATION GUIDE: CLASS PROJECT PAPER

The purpose of this Preparation Guide is to provide you with some general direction concerning the content, process, and structure of your class project paper. In the sections below are proffered some helpful information that will prove valuable with respect to facilitating your completion of a course project reflective of the high standards of quality work and personal learning that should be the aim of each participant in the course. Research

Students must conduct research to obtain information from which the paper will be written. Sources of information may be classified as being "primary" or "secondary". Primary sources include articles in scholarly/peer reviewed journals, court decisions, statutes, personal memoirs/interviews, government review articles, and so forth. Secondary sources include professional magazines in a related field of study, newspaper articles, book chapters, etc. The student will be graded in part on the depth and thoroughness of the research.  For a 8 to 10 page paper, the student should develop approximately 10 sources. It is important that you work on this paper throughout the session and not procrastinate. Getting Started

Select any ONE of the following six (6) Research Paper Topics. Other topics may be considered with prior instructor approval, but they must be directly related to a criminological theory for approval.

* ONE: CONCEPTS OF CRIME, LAW, AND CRIMINOLOGY

1. Profile a county in your state on the basis of social, economic, and criminological factors. For the social picture the students may want to include such items as population size, rural versus urban area, rate of college graduates, divorce rate, etc. For the economic picture the students may want to include such items as percentage below poverty, average family income, percentage unemployed, rate of home ownership, etc. Census data are useful for the social and economic variables. Criminological factors, such as crime rates, arrest rates, number of officers, etc., can be obtained from your state crime information center. The focus of the written assignment, then, is to tie the various social and economic forces operating within the county to the levels and types of crimes identified.

2. There are thousands of agencies with the mission of providing services to victims of crime. Complete an in-depth investigation into a specific agency at the local, state, or national level. The paper should include an historical look at the agency, provide statistics on the number and type of victims they assist, offer descriptions of the services provided, give an explanation of the philosophy of the agency, discuss funding sources, and provide information on the location of the agency. You may even want to include a personal interview with a representative of the agency. Try to apply a specific criminological theory.

TWO: THEORIES OF CRIME CAUSATION

Select a recent crime from a local newspaper. Spend a short amount of time laying out the facts of the case; attach the article to their final paper. Then define and apply one criminological theory that does a good job explaining this type of offense and one criminological theory that does a bad job explaining this type of offense. Integrate facts from the article to support your argument. This paper works best if you apply a specific criminological theory, like Routine Activities Theory, rather than a more “umbrella” theory, like Social Disorganization Theories.

THREE: CRIME TYPOLOGIES

1. Select one type of crime. Provide the legal definition for the offense, incidence rates at both the state and national levels, and clearance rates at both the state and national levels. To what extent does this crime in your state reflect nationwide trends? Try to apply a specific criminological theory.

2. Street crimes (violent and property), enterprise crimes,...
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