Writing Assignment Needed For Criminology Class

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WRITING ASSIGNMENT #2

Instructions

For this assignment you will choose 3 different concepts from Modules 4 and 5 textbook readings (Chapters 4, 8, 9, and 10) on the United States courts and legal system (the second of the three criminal justice system components we will be exploring in this course). 

Step 1: Review Modules 4 and 5 textbook readings (Chapters 4, 8, 9, and 10) 

Step 2: Watch the videos in Modules 4 and 5.

Step 3: Write a 5-paragraph essay following the paper structure and APA paper format requirements below.

Paper Structure

Cover Page 

Introductory Paragraph 

• Provide the reader with an overview of the Module materials on the United States courts and legal system, as well as the terms you will be discussing in your paper and their relevance to the modules materials.

Body Paragraph One

• Identify ONE concept discussed in the textbook readings (Chapters 4, 8, 9, and 10) and illustrated in one of the videos above. 

• In this paragraph, you should clearly identify the concept you are discussing (put it in bold), provide a definition for the concept in your own words, and provide at least two sentences worth of evidence from the video(s) that illustrate the concept you identified. 

Body Paragraph Two

• Identify ONE concept (different from the concept above) discussed in the textbook readings (Chapters 4, 8, 9, and 10) and illustrated in one of the videos above. 

• In this paragraph, you should clearly identify the concept you are discussing (put it in bold), provide a definition for the concept in your own words, and provide at least two sentences worth of evidence from the video(s) that illustrate the concept you identified. 

Body Paragraph Three 

• Identify ONE concept (different from the concepts above) discussed in the textbook readings (Chapters 4, 8, 9, and 10) and illustrated in one of the videos above. 

• In this paragraph, you should clearly identify the concept you are discussing (put it in bold), provide a definition for the concept in your own words, and provide at least two sentences worth of evidence from the video(s) that illustrate the concept you identified. 

Conclusion Paragraph

• Wrap up your paper and tell your reader any final thoughts you had about the Module readings and videos (lasting impressions, things you didn’t understand, things you saw in the video(s) that did or did not align with the Module materials, etc.).

Reference Page 

Paper Format

You should, at a minimum, cite your textbook as that is where you got the 3 concepts you are discussing in your paper. 

Download the APA Word Template provided and personalize it for this assignment. Your paper should be double-spaced in Times New Roman 12-point font and with 1-inch margins all the way around. Be sure to write in your own words as much as possible. Avoid using direct quotes (write in your own words), and properly cite your textbook (for the concepts), as well as any other sources you use.

See Module 1: APA and You for examples of in-text citations and references for your textbook. You should have in-text citations in every paragraph of your paper to align with the materials, concept(s), and definitions you discuss, even though your discussion was in your own words. As you are discussing materials from other sources, even though you are discussing these materials in your own words you MUST still properly cite sources with in-text citations and references in APA format.

Helpful Hints

A good place to find terms/concepts is the Summary sections at the end of Textbook Chapters 4, 8, 9, and 10. These Summary sections include vocabulary lists that you can use when selecting terms to write about in your paper. Remember that each of the three terms you write about must be illustrated in one of the videos located in the Module 4 and 5 sections of our Blackboard course, and you must provide evidence from the video(s) to support your term selection.

Video: Courtroom Members
Video: Qualifications for Jury Service
Video: Criminal Trial Process: Courtroom Procedures
Video: Types of Crime
Video: Pretrial Procedures
Video: Arraignment
Video: Plea Bargain and Pretrial Motions

An Overview of Criminal Justice: The Criminal Justice Components

There are three primary components/institutions that comprise the criminal justice system/process:

  1. Law enforcement
  2. Courts
  3. Corrections

Descriptions of the Three Components:

  1. The purposes/responsibilities of law enforcement are to “enforce laws, provide services, prevent crime, and preserve the peace” (Gaines & Miller, 2017, p. 135). Our system of Law Enforcement is divided into three primary levels: local, state, and federal (and also tribal). Local law enforcement is comprised of county sheriff’s offices and city police departments, and local is the level at which the majority of law enforcement officers are employed. State law enforcement is responsible for such tasks as patrolling our highways, as well as investigating crimes on a state level. These agencies have jurisdiction throughout the state. Federal law enforcement agencies cover a variety of areas (both geographically, as their jurisdiction is national, and subject matter-wise), including terrorism, drugs, tax crimes, and much more (Gaines & Miller, 2017).
  2. Our courts system determines the guilt or innocence (or, in the case of civil court, the responsibility) of the accused through the judicial process. The courts serve multiple purposes, including to: ensure due process is followed (due process); ensure protection of and justice for society (crime control); treat offenders and attempt to fix possible causes of criminal behavior (substance use, low self-control, mental illness, etc.) so they may become productive members of society (rehabilitation); and to also meet the administrative demands placed upon the courts (bureaucracy) (Gaines & Miller, 2017). Our Court system is a dual-court system comprised of 2 judicial systems at the federal and state levels. This dual-court system is actually comprised of 52 different court systems (federal, each state, and D.C.), and is based on the concept of federalism, or the sharing of powers between the federal government and the state governments. There are key players that operate within each courtroom, also known as the courtroom work group. These key players include the judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney (Gaines & Miller, 2017).
  3. The American correctional system is responsible for those individuals convicted by the courts. There are multiple purposes for sentencing offenders to various correctional treatments, including to: punish them for violating the rules of society (retribution); deter them from committing crimes again (or specific deterrence, and deter others in society from committing similar crimes, or general deterrence); take them off the streets to prevent them from posing further threat to society (incarceration); and treat them so they are less likely to offend in the future, and may become productive members of society (rehabilitation) (Gaines & Miller, 2017). Those convicted by state courts are under the control of the state correctional system, while those convicted in federal court are under the control of the federal correctional system. Correctional sentences range in severity from probation and community corrections to incarceration and capital punishment. The most common correctional treatment in our country is probation, which is an alternative to incarceration. Parole is early release from a correctional facility. Note that corrections is more than jail and prison.

Examples of Each Component:

Law Enforcement

  • Local: County Sheriff’s Office, City Police Department
  • State: Highway patrols; fire marshals; fish, game, and watercraft wardens; alcoholic beverage control officers
  • Federal: Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Secret Service

Courts

  • Type of court: Criminal, civil
  • Court geographic jurisdiction: There are 52 total court systems in the U.S.: one federal + fifty state + D.C. These systems are encompassed under the 2 independent judicial systems (federal and state) that comprise our dual-court system.
  • Court subject-matter jurisdiction: Limited, unlimited (general)
  • Members of the courtroom work group: Judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, bailiff, clerk of the court, court reporter(s)

Corrections

  • Types of correctional sentences: Probation, parole, incarceration (local jails, state prisons, federal prisons), community corrections
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