Part 1 of M5 Reflection Journal is based on what you have learned in M5 Material: Racism built into the system. Formulate three critical questions about the things you have learned there:
Critical Question 1:
Critical Question 2:
Critical Question 3:
Part 2. Read the following recent article from The Washington Post:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/12/10/pandemic-shoplifting-hunger/Links to an external site.
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Here is the full text of the article for easy access:
Shoplifting has increased during pandemic, experts say – The Washington Post.pdfPreview the document
Write a short essay (2-3 paragraphs) in response to the article and the following question:
How do you think other laws and the wider political realities beyond criminal justice have an impact on crime?
You can write your essay in Microsoft Word and attach the file to this submission.
Clearly indicate Part 1 and Part 2 of your answer.
(Only you and the instructor/TA will be able to see journal entries. Reflection essays are graded based on how thoughtful they are and how well they incorporate and synthesize the module material.)
In your essay, you need to start by briefly re-stating the key parts of the story in your own words (and provide a link to the story/article in your References section).
Then you need to look up some statistics on the type of crime or criminal justice issue described in the story or find additional useful and trustworthy data/information about it. Feel free to use research literature and the links to UCR and/or NCVS, as well as other resources from the Module 1 Material, especially the PowerPoint slides on measuring crime; you can also use any other relevant information from reputable sources (for example, check out Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) data and reports).
Think of a criminological theory that applies well in explaining this type of crime and another theory that does not seems to fit as an explanation. Review your Chapter Summaries for ideas. (In case of the article I gave as an example above, I could use either psychopathy as a likely explanation for the behavior of the teen who showed no remorse or differential association/social learning theory to explain the peer influence on the other teenagers’ behavior in the situation. You only need to choose 1 best-fitting theory. For the worst-fitting theory, I would use Agnew’s general strain theory in this instance.)
Also, since the most useful application of theories is to improve CJ practice, think of a way to develop a theory-based program or policy to prevent crimes of this type. Are there similar programs that have already been tried? Have they been found effective? Check Module 3 Material for more information about crime prevention programs and their effectiveness. Plus, you have already successfully incorporated CrimeSolutions.gov (Links to an external site.) info into your essays, discussions, and journal posts in the previous modules, so you are well on your way to mastering this part of the final essay!
1) Title: Give your essay a title that reflects the key topic and theory.
DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME on the first submission to allow for anonymous peer review!
2) Story: Start your essay by summarizing the news story in a few sentences (it will be the opening paragraph of your essay).
3) Crimes/CJ issues of this type: Next, provide some information on the prevalence of this type of crime or criminal justice issue, describe who the typical perpetrators and victims are. Explain how typical or rare the case from the story is, based on the additional statistics/data you have gathered.
4) Best-fitting Theory: Briefly summarize the criminological theory that you think is very applicable here. Then explain how the key concepts and propositions of the theory apply to the phenomenon you are focusing on.
5) Worst-fitting Theory (pretty much the opposite of what can explain the issue at hand): Briefly summarize the criminological theory that you think does not apply well and explain why not.
6) Applying theory towards crime prevention: Suggest a crime prevention program based on the best-fitting theory you have selected for the essay. First describe the key elements of the program. Then explain how this program is based on your best-fitting theory. Make clear the connections between the key concepts/propositions of the theory and the program you are suggesting.
7) Summarize evaluated crime prevention programs similar to your proposed one: Check CrimeSolutions.gov (Links to an external site.) for programs of this type and summarize what you have found on that web site (which similar programs of this type were evaluated and whether they were found to be effective, not effective, or promising).
8) Conclusion: Conclude your essay with a paragraph summarizing the key points and lessons from your essay.
9) References: Cite the sources you used (in APA format).