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Jun 03, 2023
For the course paper, students will select a criminal justice program or policy (e.g., anti-bullying, gun control, domestic violence, juvenile transfer, three-strikes, etc.) and demonstrate how the selected program or policy is grounded in a theoretical perspective from this course. If applicable, I recommend selecting a program or policy that you are overseeing and involved in at work.The paper will include three (3) sections: 1) A description of the program/policy. For this section, you will describe the program/policy including when the program/policy was proposed, the rationale for the emergence of the program/policy, the main components of the program/policy, funding sources for the program/policy, how it is being implemented, etc. Note that you need to include enough information so that someone who is familiar with the program/policy will have an adequate understanding of it.2) A description of the theory that you believe the program/policy is premised on. For this section, you need to provide a detailed description of the theory including its author(s), when it was developed, its main proposition(s), its main theoretical concept(s), and its policy implications. Next, drawing from the assigned articles from the weekly discussion boards, discuss the empirical evidence of the theory. That is, based on prior research findings, does the theory have empirical support? Is this a “good” theory?3) Demonstrate how the program/policy that you selected is premised on the theory described above. For this section, you need to connect the goals/objectives of the program/policy to the main theoretical proposition(s) of the theory. For example, scared straight programs are used throughout the U.S. as a mean to prevent juvenile crime. They typically involve having at-risk youth visit prisons where the youths are exposed to the harsh reality of prison life from inmates. Scared straight programs are premised on deterrence theory which posits that fear of punishment is a way to prevent would-be criminals from engaging in crime and deviance. Scared straight programs can also be premised on rational choice theory that argues that when contemplating whether to engage in a criminal activity, offenders weigh the benefits and costs associated with the activity and will choose it when the benefits outweigh the costs. Note that students cannot use scared straight programs for their paper.

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