Assignment: Controversial Criminal Justice Issues

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2-1 Legal Policy Short Paper: Controversial Criminal Justice Issues


For this assignment, you will write a legal policy short paper.

To complete this assignment, review the Module Two Legal Policy Short Paper Guidelines and Rubric document.

You will also need the following resources to complete this task:

• Problem-Solving Strategies and Sample

• Frequently Asked Questions: Evidence-Based Practices in Criminal Justice Settings

CJ 500 Problem-Solving Strategies and Sample Problem solving is used to address many disciplines, often with different strategies or perspectives. It is a mental process in the area of criminology. Problems are often either well defined or ill defined. What appropriate solutions can be determined is based on the definition of the problem. Ill-defined problems do not have clear goals, solutions, or a path to a solution. Well-defined problems have specific goals and a distinctive path to a solution. In selecting an issue, make sure that the issue or problem is well defined. These problems also allow for more initial planning than ill-defined problems. The ability to comprehend the problem and understanding the issue are paramount. This will be the key to solving your issue or problem. Sometimes the problem requires some outside-the-box thinking to come up with a creative and unique solution to the issue. In determining whether an issue is well defined or ill defined, look to see whether significant research, data, analysis, or published articles have been written on the topic. Consider the source of this research when selecting your topic. If the issue appears in your textbook or has been covered in the modules, it has been published and studied. Select your issue based upon the information that can be gathered, paying mind to whether the issue is well defined. For example, the use of drug courts across the country is an issue that has been addressed significantly over the past few years, both in research and in publication. The use of drug courts is a fundamental shift from punishment to rehabilitation. This shift has also sparked much controversy in the public. When researching this topic, students will find data analysis, research, journal articles, and statistics on recidivism rates on drug offenders. This would be a great example of a well-defined problem. The following article is a great resource in understanding how problem solving has been incorporated into the conventional court system: Breaking With Tradition: Introducing Problem Solving in Conventional Courts.

Brainstorming Strategies

Brainstorming is a relaxed and informal approach to solving a problem. It requires you to think creatively and outside the box. Brainstorming memorializes and crystallizes initial ideas into original or creative solutions to the issue you are trying to solve. Brainstorming can also spark more ideas to the problem you are attempting to solve. This can help implement a light-bulb moment when you are seeking a solution to your problem, because during brainstorming there is no censorship of ideas. You are trying to open up possibilities and break down wrong assumptions about the limits of the problem by thinking outside the box. Ideas should only be evaluated at the end of the brainstorming session, after your thoughts have been memorialized on paper, in order to tackle a more conventional approach. Review the following steps in the problem-solving process as well as the problem-solving sample below.

Steps in the Problem-Solving Process Define the Issue of the Well-Defined Problem

 What has led you to think of this issue as a problem? Understand the problem and how it came to be; this is a huge first step. It is needed before moving on to other steps.

 What has the problem done to cause it to need to be addressed and fixed?

 Who are the stakeholders that will solve this problem? Assemble the stakeholders and begin the next phase.

Brainstorm the Solutions

 Do not discard ideas at this point. Every idea may have usable information contained somewhere within it.

 When it comes time to select a solution, you may need to use bits and pieces of other suggestions in order to come up with a viable one.

 What are some possible solutions? When soliciting solutions, ask yourself these questions: How will this help solve the solution? Will this have any adverse effects if executed? Could this solution create other problems if executed?

Select a Solution

 This step may be repeated several times, requiring you to analyze the execution of the solution and modify it along the way. Each time you modify the solution, always go back to the beginning and work it through the process again from beginning to end. Each time you modify the solution, you change the path of it. Analyze it completely through each time, to ensure you are ending up at the point you need to be at in order to solve the problem.

 Is this solution the best one?

 Is this the most efficient way to solve this problem?

Implement the Solution (Both Immediate and Long-Term Actions)

 Where does the solution need to begin in the chain of events?

 How does the solution need to be executed?

 Does the solution require explanation, or a foundation of explanation, in order for it to take off? Who is going to implement the solution, and where this occur?

 Is there a chance the solution will be misunderstood and create another problem?

Gather Feedback

 What is needed to accurately assess success of the solution?

 Is the problem solved? Who should you seek feedback from? What should you ask in order to solicit the correct answer?

 What type of surveys or information can be gathered to assess whether your solution has been successful? Consider the use of gathering statistics. Review, for example, the Key Statistics page on the Bureau of Justice Statistics website. Also view the Crime Statistics page on the Federal Bureau of Investigation website.

Problem-Solving Sample Defining the Issue At a certain bus stop in Anytown, USA, between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., there are many people congregating at the bus stop. The sidewalk pedestrian traffic is blocked, causing people on the sidewalk to walk around the people waiting for the buses. They walk in the street to go around them. Vehicle traffic slows to a crawl, backing up for miles. People’s safety is jeopardized when this happens. So what is the issue? Is the bus stop too small for the number of people riding? Is it that the businesses in the area are letting their employees off work at the same time? Depending on how you look at this,

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