research paper 880


The paper MUST BE 10-11 PAGES (this does not include cover and reference pages), must be submitted in a Microsoft Word or PDF document, and follow the following format:

  1. 1 inch margins
  2. 12-point Times New Roman
  3. Double-spaced
  4. APA citation style
  5. Your name and paper title as part of the header
  6. Page numbers

You will choose ONE major decision point/process in the CJ system:

  • the decision of the police to stop, search, use force, or arrest;
  • the decision of the prosecutor to files charges, prosecute, plea bargain;
  • the decision of the judge to release a defendant pretrial (e.g., bail), sentence to jail/prison or an alternative sanction (e.g., probation or intermediate sanctions), how long to sentence, the death penalty;
  • the decision of the parole board to release on parole.

The crux of the paper is to address the factors that affect the decision (e.g., suspect characteristics and behavior; criminal justice officials’ characteristics and behavior; neighborhood or community based influences; organizational characteristics; and others if applicable), based primarily on empirically rigorous and valid research evidence.

Thus, the easiest way to think through this is to ask what factors enhance the probability of the decision under study? Of course, when I say “ask,” I mean investigate what the empirical evidence indicates. Hence, upon selecting a decision, you should conduct a review of the relevant empirical research literature using using at least 10 primary sources, of which at least 8 are peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles. Again, the main focus should be on the scholarly journal articles.

This assignment requires you to:

  • conduct basic background research (e.g., search the library and other sources for journal articles, books, and other relevant publications),
  • critically analyze available information (e.g., understand and make sense of it),
  • logically organize this information (e.g., develop an outline), and
  • convey this information in a coherent manner (e.g., via the written paper).
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