Ethics in Criminal Justice: MIDTERM PROJECT
The midterm project for this class will be an INDIVIDUAL project and must fall into one of the following categories: Do, Say or Write. You must choose a category (do say or write) as well as a format (paper, presentation or creative option). Some categories require certain formats. Read all of the details before you make a decision.
Course Level Student learning outcomes:
- Demonstrate the ability to make ethical decisions as it relates to criminal justice
- Develop critical thinking skills to analyze ethical issues
- Analyze ethical dilemmas
- Discuss ethics and the criminal justice professional
Student Learning Outcomes:
- Present a well-written position
- Analyze a specific ethical dilemma that affects criminal justice policy or law
- Incorporate high-quality sources
- Provide appropriate evidence for claims
- Apply ethical theory where appropriate
- Write in a clear, well-organized paper in APA format
You will be submitting your Midterm Project on Canvas, and the final product is due as a Final Draft Canvas Submission by October 30th, 11:59 pm.
Creative options could be a short film, a website, a blog, a vlog, a podcast, a radio documentary, a photography series…I am open! Just let me know before you begin if you want to be creative, so we can hash out some of the details if necessary.
For any of the projects, you will be focusing on one of the following Research Questions:
§ Using ethical reasoning and empirical research, how can the U.S. criminal justice system improve diversity and inclusion?
§ Using ethical reasoning and empirical research, how can the U.S. eliminate or prevent racial profiling or bias in the criminal justice system?
§ Using ethical reasoning and empirical research, how can the U.S. eliminate policies that contribute to institutional racism in the form of over-representation of minorities at all levels of the criminal justice system?
1. For the first option, you will report all about the goal of improving diversity and inclusion in the criminal justice system. You will be thinking about how we need to change society–not just a few individuals–to get at the root of the issues, and change them. This will not just be your opinion; you will back up your recommendations with the ethical reasoning, theories, and evidence that you have collected this semester, in our course. No matter the category, or format, you will need to address at least ONE policy that should change to improve diversity and inclusion.
2. For the second option, you will have to report on all of the systems that lead to racial bias and racial profiling in the CJ system, and address what we would need to do as a society to eliminate racism. To do this well, you will have to discuss how different policies lead to racial bias or practitioners behave in a racially biased way. No matter the category, or format, you will need to discuss at least ONE policy that should change to eliminate or prevent racism in the criminal justice system.
3. For the third option, you will report on institutional racism in the U.S., and what we would need to do as a society to eliminate or reduce disparities or create a fairer criminal justice system. No matter the category, or format, you will need to address at least ONE policy that should change to eliminate or reduce institutional racism in the criminal justice system in the United States.
Are you interested in really making a difference in the world? This may be the option for you. This format takes some creativity, and some research, but may be more engaging for those who are more interested in doing, it instead of always just analyzing. For this Midterm Project, write a proposal to “do” the service it would take to make those changes. Treat this as if you are writing a proposal to do some volunteer service that will create real, systemic social change. Tell the reader what you propose to do, why it will make a difference at the level of society, and back up your assertions with what we have learned this semester. You do not need to get bogged down in details about renting space, or setting up a non-profit; focus on the details that best relate to the course, and to the discipline of criminology and criminal justice: how can you get at the underlying social issues, instead of providing surface Band-Aids? What are your goals, and how can you utilize the skills and labour of people (including yourself) to accomplish those goals?
§ Submit a 4 to the 5-page proposal, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and a 12-point font comparable to Times New Roman in size.
§ Present your plan (such as with PowerPoint) in a 5-7 minute presentation.
§ Creative option: make a short (3-5 minute) film or podcast about your plan. I am open to other creative options if you have any ideas!
Are you better at telling other people what to do? For your project, you will develop a presentation, or write a letter to someone, on your topic, and choose an audience that needs to hear that message. You will need to select a dream audience that you think needs to listen to the message; then you will present to the class, acting as if the class is that audience, or write them an extended “letter to the editor”-type piece that outlines what you need them to do. Think about “stakeholders”–who has the power, in our society, to make a difference? What do you wish you could tell them? What can they do to make a difference? Remember you will need to back up your assertions with substantial evidence, based on what we have learned this semester. Remember to address why those stakeholders are the right people to hear your message.
§ Submit a 3 to the 5-page letter, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and a 12-point font comparable to Times New Roman in size. Address your letter to the appropriate stakeholder(s) and write as if addressing them directly.
§ Present (such as with Powerpoint) in a 5-7 minute presentation, acting as if the class is your stakeholder(s).
Creative option: make a short (3-5 minute) film or podcast that you would send to the stakeholder. I am open to other creative options if you have any ideas!
There is no shame in playing to your strength, or using this as an opportunity to gain an advantage! If your goal this semester was to work on your college-level writing, this is a great chance to develop those skills. If you choose this option, you should consider working with the Writing Center so you can develop your skills, and produce a great paper. For this project, you will need to give me a straightforward paper–what needs to change in society, and why? What is ONE policy that needs to change, and how should that happen? This is more of a research paper than the other options, though you will have to present solid arguments and back them up, using evidence from the concepts we have learned, and all that you have read.
If you decide to do this option, you will need to submit a 3 to 5-page paper, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and a 12-point font comparable to Times New Roman in size.).
For all of the formats, you are expected to:
§ Thoroughly and accurately cite (yes, even in presentations, videos et al.).
§ Utilize at least TWO of the assigned readings from the course (each chapter counts as one reading).
§ Utilize at least TWO academic or high-quality sources outside of the assigned materials. If you have any questions about a source being academic, please ask. In general, this does NOT mean blogs–this means scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. You will need to use the library to find these, not just Google.
§ Address at least ONE policy that must change to prevent future social problems, at the level of society. Be sure to explain what you mean thoroughly, and back up all of your assertions with scholarly evidence.
§ Provide a clear thesis, and scholarly evidence to back up that thesis.
§ Assume an audience that has NOT taken this course. Explain as if you are presenting to the Lasell student body at large; explain any jargon they would not understand and assume they are at least at an undergraduate college level in their educational background. Be sure to balance this with maintaining an academic tone.
§ Contact me sooner, rather than later if you have ANY questions. Start formulating a plan now, and be open-minded to pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Talk to me, or start an email thread, to bounce around ideas!
§ Submit your Project to the Canvas Dropbox by 11:59 pm on October 30th (URL or document).
Remember to choose a category (do say or write) and a format (paper, presentation or creative option).
NOTE: No matter your category or format, you MUST adhere to all of the requirements listed above. In some cases, you may need to submit a 1-2 page write-up to discuss the connections between your project and the course materials and to show and explain your sources to me.