Data about the criminal justice system

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In the first few weeks of this class, we have talked about various kinds of data about the criminal
justice system – data about what people think about the system from the General Social Survey,
data about rates of crime from the Uniform Crime Reports and from the National Crime
Victimization Survey, and data about how many people are caught up in the criminal justice
system from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Choose one of these four sources of data, Google
the relevant source, and look at what kinds of statistics are available from that source. Identify
one piece of data that surprises you and one piece of data that was missing or that you could not
find. Use one of the theories we have discussed, based on the readings in Kubrin & Stuckey
about criminal justice theory or policing theory, to write an essay in which you explain why the
data looks the way it does – in terms of what surprises you and what is and is not there.
1. Your paper should meet the following specifications:
a. Properly formatted and cited (20 points)
i. Be 1-2 pages in length, no longer.
ii. Use 12-point font, 1-inch margins, and double-space your text
iii. Include your name and a page number on every page and staple the document
iv. Scholarly integrity requires that that work be attributed to the author, regardless of
whether you are directly quoting, paraphrasing, or relying on the work less directly.
If you are unclear about how to cite a source appropriately then please ask.
a. Use APA Style; see this website for directions:
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/02/.
b. Cite exact page numbers from which quotations or ideas are drawn.
b. Well-written (15 points)
i. Review for spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, and typos.
ii. Avoid confusing pronouns (e.g., vague use of “it” without clearly explaining what
“it” is).
iii. Avoid confusing or sloppy writing, like run-on sentences, or imprecise language.
iv. Try reading your paper outloud to yourself to see how it sounds.
c. Well-organized, with a clear introductory paragraph (25 points)
i. Imagine that your smart reader has not read this prompt and wants to know right
away (a) who and what you are writing about and (b) what argument you are making
(10/20 points).
ii. Have a clear thesis statement that introduces the main argument of the paper (10/20
points).
iii. Introduce the organization of the paper; let your reader know what is coming (5/20
points).
d. Use evidence to support your argument (40 points)
i. Refer directly to the assigned texts (not to lecture) to support your arguments.
ii. Present two pieces of evidence or analysis in support of your of your argument
(perhaps one piece of data that surprised you and one that was missing). Explain
each piece of evidence; relate it back to your thesis statement. (20/40 points each)

 

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