Criminology and Crime Policy
Knowledge of problem & crime theory.
Memos will demonstrate a high-level of knowledge about the crime problem and crime theory by:
Providing accurate, relevant, information about the problem that is informative to the audience;
Describing crime theory concepts accurately and applying them to the problem and recommendations appropriately. Extensive external research is not needed and course materials should provide the majority of support for your arguments. You should consider relevant peer reviewed journal articles to support your work.
Quality of argument & use of research.
The best memos will:
integrate many high-quality sources of information;
provide context, interpretation and evaluation of sources as needed;
employ summary, rather than quotations and cite appropriately;
provide a convincing, well-supported argument about need for action and
make relevant, real-world recommendations supported by crime theory and research.
Quality of communication.
The best memos will:
be well-organized, clear, concise;
be written in professional voice and with the audience in mind;
follow the instructed format of sections.
Option 1 – Policy Memo on Youthful Offending OR Reentry of Formerly Incarcerated People
You should respond to the questions below in an 8-10 page, double-spaced memo addressed to a relevant policymaker or administrator implied in the question. Be sure to address Part A and Part B (i.e. each question should be covered in 4 – 5 pages, double-spaced).
As you will see, Part A asks you to recognize the implications of a certain set of theories in different ways. The memo should follow APA citations format (though it does not need the style sections, such as Running Head and Abstract) and include a References page.
Social process theories, such as differential association, social learning, social control/bonding, and life course perspectives are all used to inform various approaches to crime and delinquency.
Choose one of the two following domains to frame/focus your response to the questions below: justice involved youth OR reentry of formerly incarcerated people. The first focuses on the onset and escalation of delinquency and crime during adolescence and young adulthood. The second focuses on individuals that have been incarcerated for some time, their transition back to the community and desistance from crime.
How would social process theories and life course perspectives explain youthful offending or adult recidivism? What approaches (policies, strategies or programs) would they point to as being effective in reducing offending?
Keep in mind that you do not need to develop proposed reforms based on evaluation research of existing programs. You should use the theories identified to create a theory-informed approach. The approach you develop should flow logically from the causes identified by the theory.
You also do not need to talk about all of the social processes theories, but you should incorporate some aspects of life course perspectives into your response.
Part B. Feminist criminology has led to a number of significant contributions to the study of crime and delinquency. Among the contributions is a greater understanding of the nature, causes and appropriate responses to female delinquency and offending. What differences or similarities should be involved in either youthful offending or incarcerated person re-entry for women in the system?
Informed by the contributions of feminist criminology, what gender-specific pathways would explain youthful offending or recidivism among women and girls? How would understanding these pathways be used to inform (or reform) your proposed approaches (policies, strategies or programs) above?