Scenario Essay and Book Elements


Your assignment for this section of the course requires you to choose a scenario and follow the “Eightfold Path” to developing a draft policy statement to address the selected “problem.”  The instructions and the scenarios are below.

Below are scenarios involving “problems” that might be encountered by criminal justice and allied organizations. For this assignment, your job is to:

  1. Identify the scenario you will be addressing; tell me whether this is an “equity” or an “equality” issue and why (2.5 points);
  2. Following the “Eightfold Path” approach, develop a policy to address your scenario (this section is worth 20 points total):
  • Refine the definition of the problem from the selected scenario. For example, is the problem one of a constitutional-level, state statute- or local government-level, or an agency-level issue;
  • Assemble some evidence:
    • This can be from government reports, advocacy documents, peer-reviewed academic literature, but should be heavily empirical (observable), or values-based (moral, etc.);
    • Use APA 6 format for in-text and bibliographic references – do not trust a reference management piece of software!
  • Construct a minimum of two (2) alternative policy directions;
  • Select criteria that would let a reasonable person know how your policy alternatives would demonstrate achieving identified goals (at least one per alternative);
  • Project the outcomes of your policy alternatives;
  • Discuss the trade-offs between the alternatives;
  • Convey your policy decision (i.e., which alternative and why); and,
  1. Write a concise policy statement (no more than one paragraph -half page – maximum! – 2.5 points).  Remember, an existing policy can be your choice, but you still have to address each of the elements outlined here before making your decision.
  2.  Five points will be reserved for overall logic, grammar, structure, citations and bibliography.  Write this for a “real person,” not an academic!

In the end, you will provide a 10 page (maximum!), double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font paper worth 30 points of your grade. You should provide a cover page with policy topic, your name, and the course title, and a bibliography. The cover page and bibliography do not count as part of your 10-page narrative limit.

Be sure your submission addresses each of the bullet points above – especially those in the 20 point section (approximately 3 points per bullet!).

Here are the scenarios from which you must choose one – no substitutions, and only one!

  1. Your prison or jail is being sued to allow same-sex marriage among prisoners/inmates. You have been tasked with developing a policy to accommodate what the administration (Secretary/Sheriff) believes will be a consent decree to allow such marriages.  If you use an existing policy, make sure you still address each of the points required!
  2. Your county has seen one major municipality instruct the city police department to no longer cite or arrest individuals carrying less than 20 grams of marijuana. The County, on the other hand, has made no similar declaration. Your employer is the Sheriff’s Office in that county. The Sheriff has tasked you with drafting a policy to address how to handle residents of the municipality who are discovered carrying less than 20 grams of marijuana in the SO’s jurisdiction.
  3. Bail reform is becoming a hot topic around the nation, with several large areas and states examining the abolition of commercial bonding. In Florida, bond agencies are insurance agencies and have a strong political lobby. The County Commission in your county has tasked you with developing a policy on bail reform for the county.
  4. In light of recent events around the 2020 election and subsequent violence, your agency head has asked you to identify a model policy on the use of social media by individuals employed in your agency.  You will need to identify a model policy (include source!) and address the questions of whether you adopt the policy in whole or modify it.

The key to this assignment is following the eightfold path appropriately.

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