As you complete this assignment, it is important that you keep in mind that the focus of this course is on the management, administration, and/or leadership aspects of criminal justice organizations.
With that in mind, focus your efforts on addressing a problem area and solutions for that problem area that involve the real-world criminal justice community. You must focus on proposing a real-world solution to a real-world problem. This issue must be applicable to the ability of the leadership of a criminal justice agency to take constructive action on the problem(s) and recommendation(s) that you identify and address. In those respects, this assignment is more than a standardized research paper, and provides you with an exposure to problems that real-world criminal justice leaders face.
You will conduct sufficient web research to select a specific criminal justice-related issue/problem that the management, administration, and/or leadership of a major criminal justice organization are, have, or should be addressing. The specific problem and recommended solutions that you may review will vary considerably based upon the quality of your online research efforts. The better your research, the better you will gain knowledge from this assignment. You may relate the issue/problem to an agency/department in the area in which you live or any other area of the United States.
To begin this effort you need take the following steps:
- Conduct sufficient online research from any web source (including non-scholarly sources) that enables you to identify what you believe to be a major criminal justice management, leadership, and/or administration issue that the community has not addressed on a widescale basis. While you may identify the issue/topic from non-academic quality sources, remember that only scholarly/academic sources maybe used as references in the paper. You will need to be selective in conducting your topical research to insure that you identify an appropriate problem area that merits the attention of the senior management of an agency.
- Once you have identified the general issue/topic, you will conduct appropriate online research to determine that sufficient scholarly/academic-quality sources of information are available on the subject that you selected. If that does not occur, you need to select a different issue/topic to address. The specific issue that you select to address in the assignment should be based on the volume and quality of web sources that you locate.
- Once you have identified that a sufficient quantity of academic/scholarly-quality sources are available for your project, you will conduct further detailed web-based research on the issue. First determine that your references address how a particular city, county, state, or federal agency has successfully addressed the issue. The key here is to locate an organization that has identified the issue and that has already developed a solution to the issue. That effort will provide you with examples of solutions that have been attempted and that were successful.
- Once these steps have been taken, you will identify a criminal justice organization that has not identified or implemented a solution to the same issue. This organization should have a sufficient web presence for you to use their web-based data on organization, structure, policies, budget, procedures, etc., to allow you to shape your specific recommendation or solution. Using this organization as a basis will provide you with a real-world organization to use as your fictional agency. If sufficient web data is available, you may find it easier to select an organization which is relatively close to where you live or one in which you already possess some familiarity.
- You will prepare your paper as if you were a mid-level manager in the organization that has not implemented the solution. You will presume that your paper is to be provided to thechief of police, your sheriff, or the department head of a federal agency that is represented by this organizational example.
Using these basic steps and this basic approach to the research process will provide you with a firm idea of the type of general issues that the criminal justice community has determined to merit senior management’s attention, provide you with examples of organizations that both have and have not addressed the key issues, allow you several topical options, and permit you to accurately determine the extent of quality reference material that is available. It will provide you with a solid foundation of material for your use in structuring your paper.
After you have selected your topic, you will research, document, prepare, and submit a double-spaced, research-oriented paper on that justice administration topic. The topic must be one that involves a policy analysis issue that is/should be addressed by senior management, leadership, or administration. You are writing a proposal to your chief of police, your sheriff, or the department head of your federal law enforcement agency that addresses a significant management issue that impacts your organization. You may focus on issues and organizations that relate to a police, corrections, probation, court, or any other major function within the criminal justice community. The major policy topic should be of a significant nature so that its solution would require the decision and action by a chief of police, sheriff, or federal department head. You must clearly identify the problem. You must address why the leader should read your report. You must explain the significance of the issue. You must show how the issue impacts the particular organization and how it impacts other similar organizations. You must detail what action your leader should adopt as a result of your proposal. You must show the leadership and financial effects and implications of this solution. You must address the 3 options: do nothing (stay the same), adopt your full proposal, or incremental (do something in between). What are the effects and implications of the solution that you recommend? Why did you select that solution over other possible solutions?
Broad topics or general issues within the criminal justice community such as the death penalty, legalization of drugs, federal gun-control legislation, sentencing guidelines, etc., are not appropriate topics for this assignment. You are to address a significant issue that impacts a particular organization. Issues such as improvements to an agency’s case management systems, modifications of the agency’s investigative policies for specific types of investigations, how significant current or pending cuts in department budgets should be implemented, specific policies of shooting review panels, procedures for internal affairs investigations into departmental corruption, the department’s high-speed vehicle pursuit policy, the department’s use-of-force policy, off-duty employment issues, off-duty use of official vehicle policy, changes in major policies relating to inmate work-release programs, implementation of new crime prevention program recommendations, reallocation of financial and personnel resources within a department, major revisions of general orders, etc., are generic examples of appropriate topics that might relate to a police or sheriff’s department. There are similar issues that impact corrections, court, and parole/probation functions.
Your instructor will approve or disapprove the specific topic that you submit. Provide sufficient detail so that he/she is able to see that your topic selection is appropriate to the assignment. Your instructor will not make the topic selection for you. The approach outlined below can be used for minor policy issues, major policy issues, minor budget issues, major budget issues, equipment implementation, and any issue dealing with a policy proposal.
Remember that you are writing from the point-of-view of a mid-level manager in an agency and for the approval of the senior management of that agency. You are to present a problem area that involves a department/agency issue that is significant to the department and presents a recommended solution to solve the problem.
- Identify an issue that needs to be addressed.
- Document and discuss the general problem in a few paragraphs or not more than 1 page.
- Document and discuss the significance of the problem to your department (the significance discussion will contain the majority of your references). The significance section of the paper must contain an explanation of why the issue is significant, a discussion of what is being done by other departments or agencies, identification of what specific law/rule (federal law(s), state law(s), or city ordinance(s)) by statute number is applicable, and any other issues that can be identified as making this issue of sufficient significance for it to come to the attention of the agency head. Your discussion in this significance section of the paper must be thorough and leave no additional questions unanswered.
- Propose a solution in the form of policy recommendation or specific guidance toward a new/revised policy. The solution must address a minimum of 3 choices: do nothing, take an incremental approach, and/or full implementation of the recommended solution. The solution section of the paper must have enough of an explanation of the solution so that a senior executive would be able to make an informed decision solely based on your written explanation. Your solution must be provided in the form of a 1–2 page summary or a draft recommended policy change. The solution must also have sub-themes. Some subthemes are: impact to department, impact to external stakeholders, and impact to budget. There may be other sub-themes in addition to or in replacement of those listed above.
Your use of the Liberty University Online Student Library Services or similar library research facilities will be instrumental in your successful completion of this assignment. It is highly unlikely that you will locate appropriate scholarly or academic-quality references (journals, peer-reviewed articles, government reports, scholarly studies, official statics, etc.) only using a Google search. General interest magazines, popular magazines, trade publications, blogs, Wikipedia, etc., are not appropriate references for this project.
- APA format
- APA information is available at the Liberty University Writing Aids section of the University Writing Program website, the American Psychological Associate website, and the Purdue OWL website.
- Major sections will include a title page, an abstract, a body, and a reference section.
- 8-page requirement
- The title page, abstract, and reference pages will not be included in the 8-page requirement.
- As a minimum, headings within the body must be used to identify problems, significances, and solutions addressed in the paper. You may include other appropriate headings.
- A minimum of 10 web-based, relevant, secular references that are of a scholarly/academic quality.
- A minimum of 2 biblical references that tie the general theme that you address to a Christian perspective.
- Secular references will be cited using the standard APA format.
- Following the current APA format for secular references, you will ALSO provide a website link which can be used by the instructor to directly access and evaluate the specific web document used as a reference. This action is required to facilitate appropriate grading activity.
- College textbooks and other textbooks, to include the textbook for this course, will not be counted as a reference for grading purposes. Quality web-based research and references are desired. Printed/hard-bound books/references maybe used as references, however, they will not be included in computing the 10-reference minimum web-based requirement.
- By volume, quotations must not be in excess of 10%–15% of the paper’s narrative.
If you are unsure as to the terminology associated with scholarly-quality, peer-reviewed, academic-quality, or similar references to quality sources of information to be used in this assignment, see the Liberty University Online Student Library Services website. You may also review public library search engines or the library website of most major universities for assistance in understanding these definitions.
If you are unfamiliar with the process of preparing undergraduate, 300-level research papers, or if you encounter significant problems or issues with the writing process, you should consider reviewing the available resources of the Liberty University Online Writing Center. If you encounter similar research issues, please use the online Library resources or contact the Liberty University Library staff. Local libraries normally also have trained research librarians who are experienced in assisting students at all levels.
Submit your topic by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 3.
Submit your outline by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 5.
Submit your final by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 7.
For a detailed description of how the Research Paper is graded, see the Research Paper Rubrics.