Overview: The problem you choose can be: Related to crime (such as high crime ne

The problem you choose can be:
Related to crime (such as high crime neighborhoods, recidivism, gun violence, drugs, etc.) OR About a problem with a current approach by the criminal justice system (such as the criminalization of homelessness, mistreatment in prisons, lack of justice for certain victims, police violence, etc.). This can also include a problem with a reform effort or a problem with a traditional approach.
There is a lot of flexibility in the topic, so just ask if you have an idea but aren’t sure how to frame it!
Guiding Questions for Current Problem: *You do not need to answer these in order, they are here to help you guide your research. You may organize this information in the way that most makes sense for your problem. However, please use headings to help organize your paper and clearly indicate which information is being discussed in each section.
What is the nature of the problem overall and in California?
Includes defining what it is and statistics that provide specific details about the extent and impact of the problem. This can include details about the cost/resources related to the problem, disproportionate impact for groups, etc.
Who (or what groups) are impacted and invested in how this problem is addressed? Consider who makes decisions, who pays for the issue, who is impacted by addressing the issue, and who carries out or enforces policies/practices related to this problem?
It may be helpful to focus on a specific area of California if you have data/information available, but it is not required.
How or why does this problem happen? What criminological theories can explain why this problem exists?
What research exists to explain the causes of this issue
Has it changed over time? (i.e. is it a new problem/issue? Are there specific policies or circumstances that have created or increased this problem?
What has been the current approach to the problem? Describe the justice philosophy behind the current approach. This can include the philosophy behind punishment or in some cases may be related to the social construction of crime (i.e. what is seen as a crime or deserving of justice)
What are the problems/limitations with this approach? You can include information about lack of justice, cost-effectiveness, disparities and disproportionate impact, harm, etc.
Any other important details that are relevant to understanding and explaining your problem that was not addressed by the questions above.
Your paper should also have a short introduction/conclusion to help outline and summarize what you discuss and the importance of understanding the issue as a problem related to the CJ system.

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