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CRJS Essay

Overview: In this essay, you will address an issue within the criminal justice system and propose a plan to resolve or reduce the negative impacts of that issue.

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Prompt: Identify an issue within the criminal justice system to write about: people with mental illness, drug offenders, juvenile offenders, school to prison pipeline, mass incarcerations, prisons for profit, race and the criminal justice system, police funding and training, the death penalty, or another issue not listed here.


Explain the issue and support it with evidence:

Research in the form of data to show the impact of the problem on the state/region/country

Research in the form of individual stories and examples to show how individuals are affected by the issue

Identify a plan for improvement or solution of the identified problem. Consider the following questions as you form your plan:

How would the plan work?

How long would it take?

Who would be in charge of implementing and monitoring the plan?

How would you determine if it’s successful?

How will the plan help to reduce or solve the issue?

What are the potential downsides? (What might others argue about your plan that is faulty or won’t work?)

Consider researching innovative methods attempted by other states or countries as support for your plan



Audience: Write for an audience that is not in this class. That means you’ll need to spend some time summarizing key ideas, defining any terms that might be unfamiliar, choosing short quotes from the reading selections to help your reader get a sense of the authors’ arguments.


Length: 3-4 pages (750-1000) words



Use the Essay Structure resource, along with the strategies from the LUMEN Resource modules to guide your essay structure and organization.

Include an original title (not “Unit Two Essay” or “Education Essay”)

Use MLA 8th edition documentation style to format your essay

Compose a thesis statement that expresses your response to one of the prompt questions

Organize the essay so that each body paragraph is providing support for your thesis (use “Essay Structure” resource and LUMEN modules for guidance)

Integrate at least TWO of the assigned readings as evidence to support your opinions

Research and integrate at least TWO additional sources from the CCBC Database (“Opposing Viewpoints” is a good starting place”

Cite all sources using MLA style in-text citations

Include an MLA style Works Cited page at the end of the essay (not included in 3-4 pages of text)

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