CJUS685-1501A-01 Graduate Criminal Justice Capstone Individual Projects

Task Name: Phase 1 Individual Project

In this assignment, you will identify issues confronting modern law enforcement, corrections, and the court system; reflect on policies that currently impact those components of the criminal justice system; and point out problems that exist in today’s criminal justice system.

Consider situations in the criminal justice system that have developed in the past 10 years. These situations will have surfaced in public media pertaining to issues, problems, and policies of law enforcement, corrections, and the court system.

*Tip: Finding these concerns is easily accomplished using media search engines of major news publication archives. The hardest issue will be to decide which ones to read. You can search for death penalty, juvenile boot camps, or plea bargaining, for example.

Think of a topic and then evaluate whether or not it is a public concern. If you begin to research a topic and can only find 4 or less articles on it, then do not select it for a research concern. You will need to select a topic for this assignment where sufficient information exists to research. There are a number of large newspapers and online news archives. Also, the major news agencies will have online archives for issues they have reported on. These are just a few suggestions. The limitations on this project are determined by your own creativity.

Assignment Guidelines

  • Address the following in 5–7 pages:
    • Identify at least 2 issues, problems, or policies in criminal justice for each of the following 3 components:
      • Law Enforcement
      • Corrections
      • Court System
    • This should result in the identification of a minimum total of 6 issues, problems, or policies. Relate whether the areas identified are an issue, problem, or policy, and explain why.
      • Keep in mind they can be a combination.
      • The amount of attention paid by the media to the topics you selected may be an indicator of the level of concern the public holds regarding these topics.
      • However, it could also be an indicator of the agenda of that particular media outlet. Be careful, because the media outlet can be the driving force behind the issue, trying to make it a public concern.
    • Select 2 (out of the 6 or more you identified from the media search) of the issues, policies, or problems you found in terms of current public interest.
      • Select 2 topics that actually interest you, just to make the assignment more fun. There is nothing wrong with enjoying your research. You will find your end product is enhanced when you like what you are doing.
    • Create an annotated bibliography for the 2 research topics.
      • Find 10–20 peer-reviewed scholarly references (total) that pertain to your 2 topics.
      • Following each one of the individual references, prepare 2–3 sentences that describe what each reference is expected to contribute to your research.
      • It is not expected that you will read every word, but the abstracts should give you an idea of the content, and skimming through the document might also be helpful.
      • You may find other references later that better support and define your logic, but this is a start.

Be sure to reference all sources using APA style.

Task Name: Phase 3 Individual Project

In last week’s Individual Project you selected 1 of the 2 topics that you surmised were critical issues in the modern criminal justice system. The topics were to come from issues, problems, and policies in law enforcement, corrections, or the court system. Consider that you are working toward a final capstone project position paper, and research and analyze your second topic.

Tip: If your second topic is somehow related to your first topic, then you will be ahead of the game. By selecting integrated topics, you may ultimately combine your position papers into a document that will be part of your capstone final project.

Assignment Guidelines

  • Address the following in a literature review of 4–6 pages:
    • What second topic have you selected for this assignment? Explain.
    • How did you select the topic that you are researching?Explain.
    • Now, select 10–15 scholarly sources, and conduct a literature review for this second topic.
  • Address the following in 2–3 pages:
    • Why is this topic important to the criminal justice system and the citizens of the United States? Explain.
    • What are the various topic issues, problems, or policies associated with your selected topic? Explain in detail.
    • What do you propose as the changes to these topic issues, problems, and policies? Explain in detail.
    • Defend your changes with articulated support from legitimate peer-reviewed reference sources. This is absolutely critical for your paper to be taken seriously.

Task Name: Phase 4 Individual Project

Key Assignment Draft

For the Key Assignment Draft, you will identify and fully analyze the topic(s) you have selected to address within Weeks 2 and 3. You may exceed the 20 pages if necessary. You will identify the problems associated with the topic as well as a specific method of change implementation. You will defend your recommended changes and outline the anticipated outcome of the promulgated actions.

Note: It cannot be stressed enough the need for defending the actions advocated as well as ensuring that facts stated are well-supported and based on appropriate references and not emotive responses.

Assignment Guidelines

The outline of the paper will contain a breakdown of, but is not limited to, the following questions:

  • How did you select the topic in terms of its importance to the social community?
    • Did it come from the media? Why or why not?
  • What are the issues, problems, or policies that need to be addressed?
    • Is it an issue, problem, or policy? Explain.
    • Is it a combination of an issue, problem, or policy? Why or why not? Explain.
  • What implemented changes are proffered to affect the topic(s) selected?
    • Be specific with recommended changes.
    • Match recommendations with the specific component that you are intending the implementation to affect.
  • How are the changes valid for the topic(s)? (This is the defense portion and should be significant.)
    • The positions and changes recommended must be defended with logic and facts.
    • Facts must all be supported with adequate research sources from legitimate references (cite the facts in APA style in the outline). ◾Without defended recommendations, this paper will have no merit.
  • What is the anticipated outcome of the changes for the research topic(s)?
    • Use logic and deductive approaches to the anticipated outcome.
    • If you can show something to be so, and it relates to the next step, then the deduction will be strong.
    • Remember that if any of the arguments in deductive logic are false, then the outcome cannot be valid.
  • A minimum of 10–20 appropriate references must follow the outline.
    • This is the backbone of your decision-making process
    • It cannot be stressed enough that your references need to be from legitimate academic and scholarly sources and must be sound in their scientific acceptance.
    • Use academic search engines if you are using the Internet.
    • Do not use simple Internet searches.
    • Do not limit yourself to Internet-only resources if possible.
  • The references must be written in APA style for a reference page. Each reference should be followed by a short paragraph that describes what this reference source is going to contribute to the research.
  • Citations are appropriate in the outline from the references that you have provided. Citations will be in APA format.

Note: If you are able to do this outline in just 10 pages, then the quality needs to be extremely high. While it is a 10–15 page minimum, it is recommended that you stop when you meet the goal, not just because you got to 10 pages.

Task Name: Phase 5 Individual Project

Key Assignment

In the previous assignment, you developed a position paper for the research topic that you have identified and explored. You have recommendations for change, revocation, modification, and addition to the research topic. Your research topic has come from an issue, problem, or policy of law enforcement, corrections, or the court system. In this assignment, you will revise your Key Assignment Draft based on instructor and peer feedback and you will evaluate an alternative position to your selected topic that was not addressed in your original Key Assignment Draft.

Assignment Guidelines

  • First, revise your Week 4 Key Assignment based on instructor feedback and peer responses.
  • Next, add to your final Key Assignment draft by addressing the following in 4–5 pages:
    • Select 1 alternative to your position addressed in the Week 4 Key Assignment regarding your selected topic:
    • What major points are argued by proponents of this alternative position? Explain in detail.
    • Conduct research on this alternative position and evaluate the arguments.
    • Do the arguments hold any merit? Why or why not?
    • What policies currently exist that support these arguments? Explain in detail.
    • Which position is more significant for improving the current state of the criminal justice system? Explain in detail.

•Remember to use academic and scholarly sources to support your arguments and be sure to reference all sources using APA style.

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