Essay #2 Guidelines: Race, Crime, & Justice

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Guidelines: During Part 1 of the semester, you learned about race/ethnic-specific offending, victimization, and criminal justice involvement. Now you must explain one of these patterns using the criminological theories you learned in Part 2.


First, choose and briefly discuss one race/ethnic-specific pattern as the topic of your paper (i.e., the overrepresentation of Blacks or Hispanics/Latinx in the justice system, the disproportionate involvement of Black Americans in violent offending, the higher rates of violent victimization among groups of color, White Americans’ underrepresentation in the justice system, etc.). Then, drawing from course content (i.e., lectures, discussions, readings), explain this pattern by choosing and applying two of the criminological theories we learned in class. In doing so, you should describe the propositions of the theories and discuss how both theories aim to explain the race/ethnic-specific pattern you chose. In addition to applying the theories, your discussion should include a critical analysis of the theories. The following are just some of the questions you might consider in your analysis: To what degree are the theories useful? Are the two theories compatible or competing? Which theory provides a better explanation? What is missing from the theories? What are the strengths and/or shortcomings of the theories? What are the policy implications of the theories? Which racial/ethnic groups are of primary focus and/or which racial/ethnic groups are under-examined? Is there sufficient empirical support for the theories? Do the theories explain crime/offending or do they explain formal social control (i.e., responses by the criminal justice system or laws)? Your paper must draw from Shaun Gabbidon’s Criminological Perspectives on Race and Crime, course lectures and discussions, and the supplemental readings related to the chosen two theories. You are welcome to use reliable, scholarly or governmental sources not assigned in class. However, do not use websites or other sources that are not scholarly or governmental.

Format: Papers have a strict page limit of 3-4 pages and should be formatted as such: one-inch margins all around, double-spaced, Times New Roman in 12-point font, devoid of spelling and grammatical errors, and formatted in APA style. In addition, your paper should include internal citations, a reference page of the sources cited, and a title page with a creative title, your name, and date. The title and reference pages are not included in the page limit.

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